DEDA approves $60,000 for NorShor roof-repair planThe Duluth Economic Development Authority approved spending $60,000 Wednesday to create a plan for repairing the NorShor Theatre’s leaky roof, which by an engineer’s estimate could cost up to $738,000.
The Duluth Economic Development Authority approved spending $60,000 Wednesday to create a plan for repairing the NorShor Theatre’s leaky roof, which by an engineer’s estimate could cost up to $738,000.
The leaks are damaging the interior of the building, making it a critical part of phase one work to help protect the integrity of the building, said Brian Hanson, DEDA executive director.
The $60,000 is slated for Stanius Johnson Architects to document existing roof conditions, prepare documents to put the project out for bid and oversee the project after a construction firm has been hired. According to the provided timelines, the bidding process will start in April with construction to start by the end of April.
The overall projected roof and parapet cost had Commissioner Todd Fedora again expressing vehement disapproval of purchasing the building and continuing to “throw money at it.”
“If this is our idea of fiscal responsibility, I’m embarrassed,” he said.
DEDA President John Heino said he would approve the measure and, although the restoration could be a capstone project for the city, he also wants to start considering exit strategies.
“There is a point, a number we absolutely don’t want to see,” Heino said referring to how much total money should be spent. “Whatever our exit strategy is, we need to prevent further damage to (the building).”
Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle asked commissioners at the meeting why the skywalk connecting to the Fond-du-Luth Casino wasn’t the first priority when it was one of the reasons for purchasing the buildings.
Hanson said he expected the preliminary skywalk designs to be delivered to him today and that the skywalk is an integral part of the work to be completed.
Fedora was the lone vote against the resolution, while commissioners Heino, Jeff Anderson, Tony Cuneo and Nancy Aronson Norr voted to pass it.
In December, DEDA commissioners approved $48,350 for Stanius Johnson and Westlake Reed Leskosky, a Cleveland-based firm specializing in restoring historic theaters, to develop overall plans for the facility.
The city purchased the NorShor
Theatre and the adjacent Temple Opera Building in June for $2.6 million. Duluth Mayor Don Ness estimated last spring that rehabilitation of the theater could run $4 million to $5 million.