Theatre’s launch set for mid-July

“The deadline was set by Cultural Spaces. It is driven by the federal government’s fiscal year end of March 31. We only expected to show significant completion by March 31.”

By John Devine
City Scene Barrie

Barrie residents who have been paying attention may have noticed that the ‘deadline’ for the downtown theatre to be substantially completed has come and gone, and construction continues with a significant amount of work to be done.
The deadline for the project to be substantially completed was set by Cultural Spaces Canada, the federal agency that provided more than $2.5 million in infrastructure funds towards the $7.7 million project.
The definition of substantially completed seems to be somewhat vague, but Barrie’s director of culture, Rudi Quammie Williams, said enough of the project has been completed to meet funding guidelines.

A deadline of March 31 for the downtown theatre to be 'substantially completed' has come and gone, but enough work has been completed for the project to qualify for all allocated federal funds.

“The deadline was set by Cultural Spaces. It is driven by the federal government’s fiscal year end of March 31. We only expected to show significant completion by March 31,” Williams told City Scene Barrie.
In a previous City Scene Barrie story (Fed funds a lock), Williams said all of the billing requirements for the federal funding would have been completed by March 31, meaning that all federal funds committed to the project would be received.
The theatre’s original budget of $5.4 million grew to nearly $6 million early in the year after council approved an additional $600,000 to cover unexpected costs (click here for that story). The total tally for the theatre, including the purchase of the property and interest on the money to be debentured, is in the range of $7.7 million.
With the additional funds, the City’s contribution now stands at more than $3 million. Local fundraising is supposed to garner $1.3 million, but no funds have been raised to date. Additional funds have been secured from the federal government, and the City is at no risk of losing any of the federal contribution, says Williams.
“The City will be receiving the entire sum of the original Cultural Spaces allocation of $2.5 million. Staff reported back to Cultural Spaces on the cost overage and submitted a request for additional funds. Canadian Heritage allocated an additional $350,000 to the City of Barrie’s Downtown Community Theatre Project.”
It’s anticipated the theatre will now be ready to open by mid-July. Williams said he does not expect additional costs.
“Because at this time a high percentage of the work has been tendered, we are less at risk for cost increases.”

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