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Public weighs in on Sudbury library, museum complex

Work is underway on a plan for a new library and museum in downtown Sudbury, and consultants hired by the city are asking the public everything from where it should go to what it should include.
The first public meeting on a proposed library, museum and archives complex was held at the main branch of the Sudbury Pubic Library Thursday night. (Erik White/CBC)

Work is underway on a plan for a new library and museum in downtown Sudbury, and consultants hired by the city are asking the public everything from where it should go to what it should include.

In just a few days, 800 people have filled out the consulting firm's online survey, telling Greater Sudbury what they would like to see in a proposed library and museum.

A few dozen more came out to a public meeting Thursday night at the main branch of the library.

Some people think several of the big projects proposed for the downtown could fit under one roof—  imagining something more like a cultural complex in the downtown.

Cameron McLeod, who is new to the city, attended the meeting. He said he believes tax dollars should go to whatever will bring people downtown.

"And whatever brings the culture of Sudbury that we're all trying to achieve, that's the best project for sure."

The city is paying architecture firm Yallowega Belanger $38,000 to study this idea.

Architect Amber Salach said everything, from the location to what the complex would include, is up for debate.

"There'll be a lot of work to do to go through all the responses and put it into a cohesive report,” she said. “So, it's challenging, but very exciting at the same time."

There are a few big ideas being developed for the city's core — including an OHL arena and a new art gallery.

Sudbury city councillor Joe Cimino said he feels the art gallery could share space with a museum and library and save from putting up two new multi-million dollar cultural centres.

"We know there's a lot of interest in the downtown with a limited amount of real estate. So if we can combine projects and find synergies and savings, I think that's huge."

No one from the Art Gallery of Sudbury could be reached for comment, but it has been actively searching for a new home downtown.

The finished report, including an estimated cost, is expected to be presented to Sudbury city council by the end of the year.

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