Saskatchewan

Timeline lays out history, development of CNIB and Brandt building in Wascana

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) building in Wascana Park has a long history in Regina, with plans for the institute now to be part of Brandt's four-storey commercial building at the site.
Regina-based Brandt Developments is planning to build a four-storey office tower as a replacement for the CNIB building in Wascana Park. (CNIB/Brandt 2016 presentation)

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) building in Wascana Park has a long history in Regina, with plans for the institute now to be part of Brandt's four-storey commercial building at the site.

The following is a timeline for developments on the project.

Construction and beginnings

1955 - CNIB building is constructed on Crown land. Organization signs 99-year lease with government.  

1962 - Wascana Centre Authority (WCA) is formed and CNIB is grandfathered in as a non-conforming use building.

2011 - Engineering report says CNIB building is past its useful life and should be replaced.

November 2012 - In discussions with CNIB, the WCA board agrees to change CNIB building status from non-conforming to park standards to conforming.

2013 - CNIB launches a fundraising campaign for a new building.

April 25, 2014 - CNIB posts an architectural model of a modest replacement building online.

Brandt steps in

October 1, 2014 - WCA receives its first proposal from Brandt for the replacement of the CNIB building with a four-storey commercial building.

October 21, 2014 - WCA's architectural advisory committee (AAC) raises concerns about Brandt's "advanced concept stage" proposal.

October 31, 2014 - WCA's executive director tells AAC that Brandt's reaction to their critique was "not positive."

Pictured is the original CNIB building in Regina, built in 1955. (CBC)

November 11, 2014 - AAC produces another review report raising more concerns about Brandt's building proposal.

December 3 - WCA executive director tells the AAC that the board has decided to seek advice on the proposal from the Government of Saskatchewan. She notes the government seems supportive.

March 30, 2015 - The government tells the WCA that it supports extending CNIB's lease for another 99 years. It says "CNIB should seek options for development through an invitation process."

May 6, 2015 - CNIB posts a newspaper ad seeking expressions of interest in helping them with their building project. 

June 2015 - Brandt is selected as the winning bidder. 

July 1, 2015 - Brandt/CNIB send project submission to the WCA. 

July 13, 2015 - Brandt/CNIB say they receive stage A approval. 

August 2015 - Brandt/CNIB submit full application to WCA.

August 14, 2015 - According to the province, it was on this date that "the original CNIB/Brandt concept was submitted" to WCA.

September 2015 - Brandt/CNIB receive feedback for their submission.

New 99-year lease signed

July 12, 2016 - CNIB and the Government of Saskatchewan sign a new 99-year lease for the Wascana Centre land. The document contains a secret list of permitted tenants the government and CNIB won't share with the public.

July 27, 2016 - CNIB posts its first newspaper ad promoting the August 24 public consultation about the building project. 

August 10, 2016 - CNIB posts its second newspaper ad.  

August 24, 2016 - CNIB, Brandt and an advertising agency run a one hour public consultation meeting. 

August 31, 2016 -  For the first time, WCA mentions the public consultation. The Facebook post notes that this is the last day for public feedback. 

Members of the 'No Business in the Park' group hold signs outside the CNIB building. (Matthew Howard/CBC)

September 29, 2016 - Another critical review of Brandt's project by the AAC.

October 20, 2016 - CNIB and Brandt made a presentation to the Strategic Planning Committee. The AAC provide additional feedback. 

January 19, 2017 - AAC member Michael Robertson resigns. 

March 22, 2017 - Provincial budget announces WCA is being dissolved and Provincial Capital Commission will replace it. 

April 2, 2017 - AAC writes another critical review of the Brandt project and urges the WCA board not to approve the project. 

April 4, 2017 - AAC interim chair Fred Valentine resigns.

April 7, 2017 - WCA board meets to discuss Brandt proposal but doesn't approve it. 

June 2017 -  WCA is dissolved and PCC is established. 

June 8, 2017 - New PCC board is appointed.

September 22, 2017 - PCC approves Brandt/CNIB building design concept.

March 19, 2018 -  Brandt/CNIB publicly announce the PCC has approved their plans to build a new building together. 

June 4, 2018 - New AAC board is appointed.

July 9, 2018 - Newly appointed board member Genevieve Russell resigns. 

October 23, 2018 - Brandt's realtor starts marketing the new commercial development.

December 6, 2018 - New AAC board member Lloyd Isaak is appointed.

January 4, 2019 - AAC is provided Brandt's detailed architectural plans for its review.

Demolition takes place on the former CNIB building. The replacement building is expected to be completed in 2020. (CBC)

January 21, 2019 -  Demolition of the old CNIB building begins.

January 22, 2019 -  City of Regina says demolition has been halted because Brandt failed to get a demolition permit

January 30, 2019 - Having obtained a permit, the demolition of the building resumes.

February 3, 2019 - Regina city councillor Bob Hawkins calls for a public inquiry into the Brandt/CNIB project because of a lack of transparency. 

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