The City of Edmonton sees the sale of the house of the Alberta Aviation Museum Pi News

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The City of Edmonton says it is ready to sell the historic hangar that houses the Alberta Aviation Museum because it will cost up to $41 million to renovate the 80-year-old building.

Hangar 14 sits in the former City Center Airport at Kingsway and 114th Street. On Wednesday, the council’s executive committee discussed selling the building, which is outlined in a facility rehabilitation and investment study.

“Hangar 14 requires major rehabilitation work, which should not be postponed for more than five years, during which time significant property failures are expected,” the report said.

Council of Ward O-Day. Anne Stevenson said a private group or company could make repairs for less money and came up with the idea of ​​subsidizing the group or company.

“In an ideal world, I would like to see the city retain ownership, but there are so many capital pressures and priorities that it becomes an impossible situation,” he said.

Selling the hangar has the potential to generate property tax because it will no longer be the property of the city.

Built in 1942, Hangar 14 is legally preserved as a provincial and municipal historical site, so demolishing it is not an option.

According to the report, it is the only double-width, double-length hanger left in Canada. It was a major stop for British Commonwealth aviation training during World War II.

The Alberta Aviation Museum hopes to stay

This hangar has been the home of the Alberta Aviation Museum for over 30 years.

Museum supervisor Ryan Lee says that if a new owner tells them to move the museum, it will be a huge task.

“There are over 30 planes, we have a lot of big equipment,” he told CBC News. “And some of our planes don’t come apart easily, so it’s very difficult to carry them and we don’t have a good way to go.”

Lee said he thinks the city should invest the money in the hangar and allow the museum to stay.

The nonprofit is careful with money, Lee said, and relies on fundraising, donations and a modest entrance fee to operate. The museum gets 22,000 visitors a year, he said.

“We can’t function without a big partnership like the city,” Lee told the group. “If we don’t have a house, it’s too bad.”

Brent Abbott, president of the Alberta Aviation Museum Association, said the museum not only has history, but also cultural displays and lessons for residents and visitors.

“Does Edmonton need an aviation museum?” Abbott asked. “We thought that was a settled question. If the answer was ‘no,’ then removing Hangar 14 would make some sense.”

Stevenson said he supports the city to work with the museum on a strategy that will allow the museum to remain when the building is upgraded.

“The Aviation Museum is a real asset in our community – it is a center of history, education and connection,” Stevenson said.

David Johnston, the city’s chief heritage planner, hopes a new owner will hold the lease for the historic associations.

“In a perfect world, it makes a lot of sense to have an aviation museum in a historic hangar. It’s a great way to tell that story,” he said.

Johnston said the city is open to repurposing an agency or group building for public use.

“Some sort of community-based use to serve Blatchford, whether it’s general merchandise or commercial retail or something that could serve the community,” he said.

He noted that the main concern of traditional planners is to keep the building alive.

“When historic buildings are abandoned and they’re vacant, big problems happen very quickly,” Johnston said.

“They’re attractive to vandalism and all kinds of things like that. But when there’s no heat and these buildings don’t have services, they deteriorate very quickly after that.”

The fate of Hangar 14 is due to be discussed at a city council meeting on July 4.