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Grand Forks art gallery restoration over budget

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Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4:41 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 to clarify the city funding was facilitated through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program and not from city coffers. The story also corrects title of Gallery 2 spokesman.

A number of factors will mean restoring the Grand Forks art gallery building will cost more than expected.

Gallery 2 on Central Avenue has been going through restoration and repairs after getting $260,000 from the province for window restoration and $60,000 from the city through a CERIP grant it received.

The gallery’s director-curator is expected to ask city council next week for more money.

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In an update to council last week, Coun. Neil Krog believes it will be about $60,000.

Krog recently toured the exterior renovations and shared pictures with council of the damage.

The unanticipated wear and tear is on the roof edge of the circa 1911 building, which is hidden when looking at street level.

“There is quite a bit of damage up here. When you stand at the bottom and you look at that building, it looks solid, mint, until you actually get up there and have a look,” Krog said.

He says there is stone crumbling and the pointing (material between the bricks) is “coming out,” plus there’s “breakage” on some of the stonework.

Equipment rental costs also skyrocketed.

The scaffold rental that was supposed to be $75,000 when the grant was applied for in 2020, turned out to be $144,000 this year.

Krog believes it would make more financial sense to do the repairs on the city-owned building now instead of taking down the scaffolding after the window work and cleaning is done and then paying for a second rental in the future.

Coun. Chris Moslin also questioned whether the spruce tree on the property is contributing to the problem and whether the city should cut it down.

City council meets Monday at 10 a.m.

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