Fredericton may save money by replacing Playhouse
City and Fredericton Playhouse will study engineering firm's report
The City of Fredericton would save more money by replacing the Fredericton Playhouse than by upgrading the 50-year-old theatre, according to a new report.
The city issued a statement on Tuesday saying a report by R.V. Anderson and Associates has been shared with the Fredericton Playhouse Inc.’s board of directors.
The report said it would cost $16.1 million to build a new 24,000-square-foot facility with the 50-year operating cost over the next 50 years being $30.1 million.
The engineering report said $30.1 million is $4.59 million less than a refurbished Playhouse, which the report says would have to be rebuilt after 30 years.
The city statement said the report showed there were "no immediate safety" issues with the threatre.
Tim Yerxa, the executive director of the Fredericton Playhouse, said the report may "come as a surprise" to many people in the city.
"From the patron's perspective, the facility appears to be in good working order. The seats are comfortable, the lobbies and amenities have been kept up, and the stage and equipment are all working just fine," Yerxa said in a statement.
"But the cost of keeping the facility safe and operational continues to rise each year; and as the study concludes, the building itself is actually in very poor condition. This reality has, for the most part, been kept out of the eyes of Playhouse goers for years."
Fredericton and the Playhouse will study the feasibility of replacement options.