The old Dartmouth City Hall is not fit to be a museum and should be sold as surplus property, say staff at the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The mostly empty building at 90 Alderney Dr. sits on the waterfront by the ferry terminal. It is on land close to the new $500-million King's Wharf development.

Gloria McCluskey, councillor for the area, backed a plan in November 2009 to turn the building into a municipal museum. But Halifax Regional Municipality staff found that would be expensive the building was ill-suited to a museum.

The report produced key figures:

  • The annual operating cost of the building: $87,000.
  • The estimated cost of updating it for office use: $5 million.
  • The cost of turning it into a museum or cultural centre: $9 million.

Staff said the building wouldn't be an ideal location for a museum as its loading space could not accommodate large artifacts. The building should be declared surplus, a report declared.

Search on for new museum location

McCluskey accepted those findings.

"The thing we have to look for now is a new, municipal museum for all the artifacts of HRM," she said.

McCluskey and Rick Sanderson, the chairman of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society, want the Halifax Regional Municipality to find another location to properly house historical artifacts

"Frankly I agree with it. I think it's a reasonable assessment given the condition of the building and the fact that it was put together in the first place as an office structure and not a museum," he said.

Regional council will vote on the issue Tuesday. If the council agrees with the report, the building will eventually be sold.