Sudbury

Downtown Sudbury scaffolding in place to protect public

Scaffolding has become a common sight in downtown Sudbury this summer and it's not just because of construction. It's been erected in front of two buildings because of concerns that pieces could fall off and hurt people.

Scaffolding around federal office building at Elm and Lisgar expected to stay up until end of 2017

A young woman passes through scaffolding on Elm Street in downtown Sudbury (Erik White/CBC )

Scaffolding has become a common sight in downtown Sudbury this summer and it's not just because of construction.

It's been erected in front of two buildings because of concerns that pieces could fall off and hurt people.

In November, a chunk of brick did fell from the third storey of the century-old building that houses Querney's Office Plus.

"Two people actually came into the store and said, 'just so you know, a piece fell out'," said owner John Querney.

"I got out to have a look at it and we immediately cordoned off that area."

Since then, he's been spending thousands of dollars to restore the distinctive yellow brick facade, which dates to the 1930s. The building, originally built in 1911, is known around Sudbury as the Silverman's Building.

"Old buildings... you got to keep everything up," says Querney, who hopes work will be wrapped up this fall.

"It's like anything else in life — and if you're not spending the money on it to keep it up — it's going to rot on you."

Scaffolding has been outside the Querney's building in Sudbury since November, when a piece of brick fell from the third storey onto the sidewalk below. (Erik White/CBC)

'Small pieces coming off'

The scaffolding around the federal building at the corner of Elm and Lisgar Streets was also put up this spring to protect the public.

Fred Hardy, the regional director of professional and technical services for Service Canada, says it was put up around the building this spring after problems were noticed with granite panels on the building.

"Small cracks, small pieces coming off, the mortar was coming out and the inspection also showed the anchor points were starting to rust in some areas," he says.

Hardy says a "multi-million-dollar" renovation project is now being planned, primarily to replace the outside paneling that was installed in 2001. 

He says the appearance of the building will not change substantially, largely because it is considered a heritage structure by the federal government, as a good example of late 1950s institutional architecture.

Hardy says the contract will be tendered in the spring, with construction expected to start in the summer of 2017.

That means Sudburians will likely be walking under that scaffolding until late next year.

The federal government building in downtown Sudbury is set for a multi-million-dollar renovation, after cracks were discovered in the granite panelling this spring. (Erik White/CBC )

Peeking through Portholes

The other scaffolding in downtown Sudbury is around the new Laurentian University architecture school, expected to open in early September.

Founding director Terrance Galvin says he's happy their scaffolding includes portholes that allow the public to see the new landmark go up.

"When I'm coming to school myself and sometimes pass along Elm Street, I watch people watching," Galvin says with a laugh. 

A woman holds up a boy so he can look at the construction of the new Laurentian University architecture school through a porthole provided by the contractors. (Erik White/CBC )

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