The tender was issued Thursday for the main construction phase of the new home of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.
Eight general contractors have been identified as pre-qualified bidders for the project, which will see the Walker School move from the Brock main campus into expanded and heavily renovated space at 198 St. Paul St., a shuttered industrial property that was formerly the Canada Hair Cloth company.
Construction is to begin this fall, with a completion target of 2014.
A closing date for the tender will be set when the St. Paul Street site has received final environmental approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, expected in the next 30 days. Once that Record of Site Condition has been confirmed, the City of St. Catharines will be able to transfer ownership of the property to the University.
The Brock project, which has an overall construction budget of $39.6 million, will relocate about 500 students, faculty and staff into the city centre, providing an economic stimulus for the city’s downtown.
The Walker School will also complement and share facilities with the City of St. Catharines’ new Performing Arts Centre, which is being built on an adjacent lot.