Province planning $150M in repairs to Manitoba Legislative Building over 15 years

Shifting stone, peeling paint, and water-damaged walls are just a few of the problems Manitoba’s Legislative Building is dealing with.

“It’s a little sad to think that the building hasn’t been getting the maintenance that it’s needed,” said Gordon Goldsborough, president of the Manitoba Historical Society.

Goldsborough said while the building is magnificent, it is in need of a good facelift.

“It’s almost 100 years old, you know. Any building of this age would inevitably need maintenance,” said Goldsborough.

In Pictures: Behind-the-scenes view of legislature in need of repairs

The government will be celebrating the 100-year milestone next year.

The Legislative Building opened in July 1920, and ahead of its centennial the province plans to make some major changes. It’s allocating $10-million annually for 15 years, $150-million in total, to restore and preserve the building.

After that, in the year 2034, the province said $2.5-million will be provided annually for upkeep.

“The first phase of the work will include masonry repairs and restoration and revitalization of the north side of the building,” said Finance Minister Scott Fielding. “That’s been identified as the most important area.”

Fielding said in addition there will be improvements to the main entrance façade completed by next year.

Also on tap for repairs:

  • Addressing water leaks;
  • Repairing the metalwork along the balconies;
  • Replacing deteriorating and missing mortar on the stonework;
  • Cleaning and restoring the building’s exterior;
  • Waterproofing.

The province said the heating and ventilation, plumbing, and electrical systems will also need to be addressed over time.

“Small problems have grown into critical ones leading to really increased costs over the long period of time because of the deferred maintenance,” said Fielidng,

Goldsborough is excited for what’s to come.

“I look forward to seeing this building brought back to its former glory, and be a building that we can all be proud of for another century,” said Goldsborough.

Fielding said an advisory committee will be created to consult with Manitobans on what they’d like to see. Members of the committee will provide oversight and guide the development of both long-term and annual maintenance plans.

Over the last 20 years, work has been done around the building. In 2002, the province restored the tower, dome and Golden Boy. In 2010, the flat roof was replaced, and in 2012 the skylight over the main staircase had work done.

The next phase of repairs, set to begin this year, will mainly be below the dome.