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‘We brought this building back to life’: St. Chad’s renovations will honour historical landmark
Published Thursday, July 5, 2018 4:29PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, July 5, 2018 6:38PM CST
St. Chad’s Chapel and College, a landmark on College Avenue, is about to undergo some major renovations.
The developers are working to make sure it maintains its historic importance in the Queen City.
It’s the first major renovation in nearly 15 years for the chapel. The project was given approval by city council last week.
“We’ve been waiting for that moment for a long time, because this is the city actually acknowledging that we’re ready for it,” said developer Keenan George. “That means everything.”
The building has been around for more than 100 years.
“When you deal with a building that’s 104 years old, that’s really one of the most historic buildings in Regina,” Lee Forsberg, a partner in the St. Chad’s Revitalization Project. “That’s really what you want to focus on — rejuvenating that part of Regina.”
The building began as a school for boys in the early 1900’s. Its purpose has changed many times since then, and now it’s set to become a multi-use space, including a restaurant, café, 18-unit rental space and retail property.
“We welcome this and are very pleased that this is going to happen,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “This is a $4.1 million dollar project; they’ll be using tax dollars for about $480,000 to help fund this proposal. So, we think it’s a great addition to the city.”
The developers say there’s no question the building needs a little work. But, they say what makes St. Chad’s so unique will remain unchanged.
“”When you deal with heritage, you actually can’t change the exterior look,” Forsberg said.
“This is something you probably see in a lot of other cities too that have a lot of these older brick buildings, is from the outside it still looks like it did in the past,” George said. “But once you come in, the purpose has changed. The feel inside has changed, but they’ve respected that architecture and character.”
The renovations are expected to take about three years, starting with a restaurant and café in the chapel.
“The charm of St. Chad’s is basically just how historic this building is and what it means to us,” Forsberg said. “We’re in this city for a long time. We grew up here, we don’t plan on leaving. So, any time we drive by this building, it will be nice to say that we brought this building back to life.”
Based on a report by CTV Regina's Jessica Smith