Though the addition of the Brantford Community Church to the Laurier Brantford collection has been expected, the nearly $1-million asking price is too steep for the university.
One of Laurier Brantford’s finest, yet least discussed aspects, is its many beautiful buildings. Few appreciate the effort that goes into turning a movie theatre or old city hall into a working lecture hall. With Brantford Community Church, located next to the Carnegie Building at 65 George St., recently put on the market, the possibility opened for Laurier to renovate another building into the rapidly expanding campus. The church appears a fantastic buy for the university as the campus continues to grow. However, Laurier Brantford has not displayed interest in purchasing the building.
Despite the building’s historical value and prime location, Director of Student Services, David Prang stated the price the church is asking, $955 000, is simply too high.
“For the right price, we’d buy anything that close to the campus,” said Prang. “But we can’t afford it with all the renovations that would come with it.”
Some of the renovations that would need to be considered include the addition of lecture halls and wheelchair ramps. The renovations would be even more expensive since the church is a heritage building. As the Odeon Theatre and Post House show, Laurier Brantford attempts to properly preserve the classic appearances of these buildings while they update them for modern purposes. Though this is visually pleasing, it means the renovations take longer, and are much more expensive. The estimated cost to buy the building and properly renovate it would be over $1 million.
Though this means Laurier Brantford misses an opportunity for this building, it shows the dedication the university puts into its renovations.
“These buildings are really hard to preserve,” Prang said. “Buildings like Carnegie, Odeon, and Post House each took a year to renovate.”
Currently the fate of the Brantford Community Church building remains uncertain.