McMurray Métis Hiring Local Builder To Create Cultural Centre, Budget Doubles To $44M

The McMurray Métis are readying to put shovels in the ground this spring on their new Cultural Centre.

Construction of the centre, located on MacDonald Island, will be managed by Casman.

The company began in Fort McMurray over 40 years ago and has since managed over $2 billion in projects.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Casman for the construction of the Métis Cultural Centre, they are a well-known and respected member of our local business community with a proven track record of success,” said Gail Gallupe, President, McMurray Métis.

They also announced a budget increase.

The original centre was slated to cost $22 million but after consulting with architects, engineers and builders, the budget has been doubled to  $44 million.

“We always knew the budget for building a first of its kind Métis Cultural Centre was higher than $22 million,” said Bill Loutitt, Chief Executive Officer, McMurray Métis.

“After conducting two cost estimates and deciding on a final design, the total project cost is $44 million. With $33 million in committed funds already towards the project, heavy construction will start in May of this year, creating jobs and an economic shot in the arm of Fort McMurray and Alberta.”

Over $16 million will come from an Alberta Infrastructure grant, while the McMurray Métis will also be allocating $16.5 million. They are still looking at other alternatives to raise the remaining $11 million.

Last year, the municipality provided the land for the project at a nominal fee, however, they haven’t provided any funds.

The cultural centre will be in the shape of an infinity river and include an art gallery, a fire circle, a conference centre, a greenhouse, a room for youth programming, and more.

The project is expected to get started this spring and take three years to complete.

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