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Stratford Beacon Herald: Archives Building in Stratford Ontario at Risk
Steve Rice | February 9, 2016

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County looks at options, including demolishing former archives building

http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2016/02/04/county-looks-at-options-including-demolishing-former-archives-building

From Issue No. 248 | February 9, 2016

Archives and Court House, Stratford Ontario

Perth County is looking into demolishing the former archives building on St. Andrew St. in Stratford as one possible answer to overcrowded office space at the courthouse next door.

At Thursday's council meeting, county chief administrative officer Bill Arthur gave councillors a detailed analysis of the many issues at the courthouse along with 16 potential solutions, including tearing down 24 St. Andrew St., which has been empty for nearly a year, and rebuilding.

That solution, however, requires approval from Stratford's heritage committee. Although not designated a heritage building, the more than 100-year-old structure is located in the downtown core heritage conservation district.

“To my way of thinking, before we do anything we have to know what we can do with 24 St. Andrew St.,” said Coun. Walter McKenzie. “Can we renovate it? Can we tear it down? What are the restrictions? And until we know that, we really can't take our first step to go one way or the other.”

Most councillors agreed.

The former archives building has only 109 square metres (1178 sq. ft.) of space for offices, and councillors have lamented the problems inside the building, which include asbestos. When it was suggested Thursday that the building could be put up for sale, some councillors questioned who, if anyone, would be willing to buy it.

“It's a beautiful building on the outside, but it's a horrendous space to even contemplate renovating for what you're going to get out of it,” said Coun. Bob McMillan, who agreed with McKenzie that looking into demolition was the first step.

“Realistically we're doing something for 50 years out and the best utilization for that space is to remove it and replace it with something.”

Editors Notes: Hoping for a solution that repurposes the building in either public or private hands!
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