Action plan for retention of Massey Theatre established
New Westminster – Last fall the City of New Westminster and the School District #40 (SD40) worked collaboratively with the BC Ministry of Education to develop an agreement in principle for the City of New Westminster to assume the ownership of the existing Massey Theatre. The agreement in principle would see the City assuming ownership of the existing Massey Theatre and responsibility for necessary upgrades. Since that time, work has been underway to develop an action plan for the necessary upgrades to occur which will be presented at a Regular Session of Council later today.
“We have been working hard with SD40 and Ministry officials to develop an option for a plan of action that supports the school district’s work to replace NWSS and also provides for the retention of the Massey Theatre,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Coté. “We recognize the cultural value of Massey Theatre, not only to our city, but our region and we are excited to present a plan that accomplishes this objective.”
Key components of the agreement in principle include:
- the existing 1,260 seat Massey Theatre along with the land under the Theatre will be gifted to the City of New Westminster;
- the BC Ministry of Education is to finance the demolition of the existing gymnasium and reinstatement of the Theatre’s exterior wall;
- the Province will work collaboratively with the City of New Westminster to identify funding sources for future seismic upgrades to the Theatre.
“The Board appreciates that there are many demands on education funding and resources, so our focus must remain on building and operating a brand new, modern high school,” said Jonina Campbell, SD40 Board Chair. “Throughout this process, the School Board and the City of New Westminster have been unfailing in our commitment to this challenging project and we are excited that, by working together, we were able to develop an option that we believe is a win-win.”
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