Decidedly Jazz Danceworks asks city for $900K to cover cost overruns on new building

A city council committee supports the city helping to cover a cost overrun for a new arts facility.

DJD recently moved into new $26M building in the Beltline

The newly built Decidedly Jazz Danceworks building on 12th Avenue S.E. cost about $900,000 more than anticipated. (City of Calgary)

A city council committee supports the city helping to cover a cost overrun for a new arts facility.

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks is asking city hall for an additional $900,000 for its new dance centre in the Beltline on 12th Avenue at Centre Street.

The city has already contributed $5.5 million for the DJD Dance Centre.

The dance company says fundraising efforts have been hurt by the recession and complications with the project meant higher costs — leaving the dance company $1.8 million short.

"It's been a challenging project because we're adding on to an existing building, which is a 1970s post-tension building. There were some surprises we did not expect," said Kathi Sundstrom, the group's executive director.

Half of the shortfall has been accounted for, but the organization is asking the city for an additional $900,000.

Coun. Brian Pincott says the city can easily cover that amount through grants provided by the province for arts funding.

"When we've got the money sitting there, it doesn't make sense to actually put an organization in a position where it's going to cut kids' dance classes in order to be able to pay a bank," he said.

But some other councillors are unhappy about the request.

"We want to help everybody but we don't have a lot of money to help everybody," said Coun. Sean Chu.

"It almost seems to me, I know, it's an invite, but are we in the business of bailing people out?"

City council will have the final say later this month.

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