Brock and RHAC Inc. put out the call to help steer Rodman Hall

Brock University and the local group Rodman Hall Arts Centre Inc. (RHAC Inc.) have announced they are collaborating to find a partner who will help drive an initiative to ensure the future operation of Rodman Hall in downtown St. Catharines.

Brock and RHAC Inc. today issued a formal Request for Expressions of Interest as a way to identify parties who have the interest and ability to help transform the historic property into an economically viable and culturally sustainable operation.

The original building was the 19th-century estate of Thomas Rodman Merritt, son of William Hamilton Merritt

Rodman Hall is an estate that dates to the 19th-century, and was originally the home of Thomas Rodman Merritt, the son of William Hamilton Merritt.  The striking 7.15-acre property includes a Victorian mansion with a modern addition built to accommodate an art gallery, surrounded by hillside gardens running down to the banks of Twelve Mile Creek.

For much of the last half-century it has served as a leading art gallery for the region. In 2003, the University embarked on a 20-year arrangement to own and operate Rodman Hall. Since then, its community uses have continued and Brock also uses it as a teaching venue for fine arts students.

While the arrangement is scheduled to end in 2023, Brock is challenged to sustain the financial support of Rodman Hall on its own. The University has been engaging in dialogue and exploring partnership opportunities, and the initiative with RHAC Inc. signals a new and tangible collaboration that will hopefully identify a sustainable operating model for the property which is protected by a heritage designation that was enacted in 2018, and which the University supported.

Greg Finn, the University’s Provost and Vice-President Academic, said the decision to issue a Request for Expression of Interest is an indicator of the desire to ensure a positive future for Rodman Hall.

“Brock is pleased to be working collaboratively with RHAC Inc. to find a successful solution for Rodman Hall,” said Finn. “It is everyone’s intention to achieve a result that truly serves the interests of the entire local community.”

Jean Bridge, Chair of RHAC Inc., said the group is focused on efforts that will allow the Niagara community to continue to enjoy the many benefits of a robust and professional art gallery.

“Rodman Hall Art Centre Inc. wants to advance the interests of this community in a dynamic art gallery that allows citizens of all ages to continue to enjoy and engage directly with the visual arts,” said Bridge.

The Request for Expressions of Interest sets out a timeline in which submissions can be made, including optional site visits by potential partners. The deadline for submission is noon on Feb. 5, 2020.

To see the appendices for the Request for Expressions of Interest package, click on the links below:

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