$12.5M renovation to Centennial Concert Hall exterior set to go ahead

A Winnipeg hub of classical music, opera and ballet is about to get millions of dollars of work done to its exterior.

Winnipeg hub of opera, classical music, ballet will see Tyndall-stone exterior restored

The outside of the Centennial Concert Hall is getting $12.5 million in restoration work on its Tyndall-stone cladding, as well as the roof, doors and windows. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

A Winnipeg hub of classical music, opera and ballet will get millions of dollars of work done to its exterior.

The province has awarded a $12.5-million contract for the restoration of the outside of the Centennial Concert Hall, a project announced with a $15-million price tag in 2019.

Manitoba-based Bockstael Construction was awarded the contract for the project, which is expected to be completed sometime next year.

Located on Main Street across from city hall, the concert hall was built in 1967 and is home to the Manitoba Opera, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

"The work of this project will help maintain its designation as a building with potential historical significance and ensure it remains a cornerstone of Manitoba's cultural community in the years ahead," Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox said Monday in a news release.

The announcement comes as renovations to the inside of the building continue.

Performances in the building have largely been cancelled for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the latest round of relaxed restrictions now allow professional symphonies, theatres, operas and dance groups to hold rehearsals without members of the public present.

The work on the exterior will include reinstalling Tyndall-stone cladding on the outside of the building. Similar work began in recent years on the Manitoba Legislature.

To do the reinstallation, 40,000 square feet of old stone cladding will need to be removed. The existing system supporting that stone will also be replaced.

Bockstael Construction will also add a fall protection system as well as a new roof drainage and upgraded doors and windows.

The exterior renovations are expected to be done in 2022.