Elliot Lake gets new centre for community services
Agencies that were displaced after the mall collapse will get to occupy the former White Mountain Academy
As the people of Elliot Lake rebuild in the wake of the June 23 Algo Centre Mall roof collapse that killed two and injured several others, a new community hub is emerging.
Just down the road from the Algo Centre Mall is The White Mountain Academy — a now-vacant building that was once home to several uranium labs and, after that, a school for the arts. The school closed seven years ago and the building has been vacant ever since.
According to Elliot Lake spokesperson Dennis Guimond, nobody wanted to occupy the building located in the former mining town.
"It's a rather large building," he said.
The structure is poised to become the next community gathering place for the library and government agencies that were displaced by the mall collapse.
Renovations are underway to transform the building, yet again.
Guimond said his team will also renovate a section of the building that will become the setting for next year's public inquiry.
"For lack of a better term, [it will be] a court room-type set up for the hearings," he said.
Several offices, a media room and a public hearing room are being constructed. Guimond said the renovations will include a space for "the public to come and sit and view and understand what is going on" during the inquiry, which is expected to last about three months.
The cost to transform the White Mountain Academy is estimated to be about $1 million.