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Former visitors centre to be demolished at a cost of $600K

The Northern Frontiers Visitors Centre sits empty, decades after it first opened in 1992. Nick Pearce / NNSL Photo

Demolition of the former Northern Frontiers Visitors Centre -- which is slowly sinking into Frame Lake -- will start later this year, with a price tag of $597,000.

A document tabled in the legislative assembly by Minister of Infrastructure Wally Schumann on Aug. 19, states tearing down the deteriorating building is the best

The Northern Frontiers Visitors Centre sits empty, decades after it first opened in 1992.
Nick Pearce / NNSL Photo

option, considering costs.

Demolition of the damaged portion of the building and replacing it would cost $2.7 million and would "have very little utility" according to the documents. Erecting a new building of the same size for the same purpose would only cost $2.1 million.

Greg Hanna, acting public affairs communications manager, said repairing the current structure to "new condition" would cost $8.2 million.

Since 2017, $344,000 has been spent on repairs and redevelopment design, while all expenses for 2019/2020 are expected to come in at $244,000.

"There is no expectation that additional ongoing expenditures will halt the continues structural damage and general deterioration of the facility," Schumann stated in the document.

The centre was abandoned in 2017 when structural damage become to great to carry on operations. The Northern Frontiers Visitors Association (NFVA) disbanded shortly after.

The city took over operations of a centre, which employs two people in the lower level at city hall.

"For the foreseeable future, the visitors centre will operate out of its current location," said Alison Harrower, communications and economic development officer.

Colin Dempsey, president of the NFVA from 2010 to 2015, said the centre should have been fixed years ago, before the damage got of of control.

"It's just too bad," said Dempsey. "This does appear to be the best and most cost effective way to deal with the building though."

"I would like to see the association stand again. The important thing about the association that I feel has been lost is that we were a real advocate for local business. Frankly we provided a lot of support for local business than any other organization in town."

The GNWT stated the cost of complete demolition is $597,000, with a public tender for the project will be sent out in the near future.