An­caster arts group gets lease for pro­posed cen­tre

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL -

Hamil­ton politi­cians have agreed to a 10-year lease agree­ment with the An­caster So­ci­ety for the Per­form­ing Arts Cor­po­ra­tion to al­low the arts group to use the pro­posed Wil­son Street An­caster Arts Cen­tre.

Un­der the lease ar­range­ment, the cor­po­ra­tion will be able to use the fa­cil­ity at a “nom­i­nal” net rental rate and en­sure it is avail­able to all lo­cal art groups.

“The An­caster So­ci­ety for the Per­form­ing Arts will op­er­ate the fa­cil­ity once it is built,” said An­caster Coun. Lloyd Fer­gu­son.

But an­other rea­son the city agreed to the lease with the cor­po­ra­tion, said Fer­gu­son, is be­cause it is eas­ier for the non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion to ap­ply for fund­ing. Fer­gu­son said the fed­eral govern­ment has avail­able her­itage grants that the cor­po­ra­tion will be able to ac­cess. It is seek­ing $3 mil­lion from the fed­eral govern­ment. “With this mo­tion now (the cor­po­ra­tion) can make the ap­pli­ca­tion and not have to go through the city,” said Fer­gu­son.

The cor­po­ra­tion is the lead or­ga­nizer of the fundrais­ing ef­fort for the pro­posed arts cen­tre.

The pre­lim­i­nary cost to trans­form the 70-year-old for­mer Memo­rial Ele­men­tary School is es­ti­mated to be about $6.93 mil­lion, while de­mol­ish­ing half the struc­ture is pegged at about $5.2 mil­lion.

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