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N.B. Museum moving to Saint John’s former Coast Guard property
The New Brunswick Museum will be built at the former Coast Guard property on the Saint John waterfront.
The museum will move from its current locations in Market Square and Douglas Avenue to under one roof.
A new building will be constructed on the site housing both the Museum Exhibition Centre and Collections Centre.
The province will purchase the Coast Guard site from the city of Saint John. Officials say both buildings on the site may need to be demolished.
"The building closest to Market Square, the smaller of the two buildings would come down now,” Mayor Don Darling says. “Unless the other building could be repurposed for something in the future, it would come down as well, and we would only take it down if we had something to replace it."
There's confidence the project will go ahead, though the design of the new museum is unclear and architects have yet to be hired.
"This is 100 per cent going to happen,” says Shannon Merrifield, chair of the Museum Board of Directors. "This is absolutely going to move forward."
The New Brunswick government has committed $50 million to the project. Federal funding for the new museum site has yet to be secured, but Premier Brian Gallant says he’s confident they will receive federal support.
Curator Peter Larocque has been with the museum for about three decades. He says the timing couldn't be better.
"There's a revival in terms of people understanding and respecting the importance of this kind of institution, so we're right at the crest of the wave," he says.
The New Brunswick government takes over the proposed museum site in September. Gallant says planning, design, engineering and other pre-construction work will soon get underway.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.