LaSalle Eyes Possible Fish Research Centre

LaSalle's council meets for its regular meeting on February 9, 2016. (Photo by Caleb Workman)

The Town of LaSalle is looking to add a new attraction to the area, but not without a little more thought put into the project.

LaSalle Council has been discussing the construction of a fish research centre, which the University of Windsor had asked for after the construction of the Riverdance building off of LaSalle’s Front Rd. The project will be discussed and decided on in full on a later day, but the location of the centre and who will provide the funds to maintain it, are still active parts of conversation.

Director of Culture and Recreation Terry Fink says this could be a very good opportunity for LaSalle to host studies for the university and to also show younger people what real on-the-field research is like. Fink adds it’s been a more difficult process than anticipated though.

“In going through the process, the cost has become greater than anticipated and greater than the budget,” says Fink. “So we have continued to work with the university to come up with a strategy of maintaining the integrity of the building… as well as making sure it architecturally fits with our existing building.”

Fink says they are continuing to meet with the university so the new building can be completed within the current budget.

Council was presented with the option to change location if need be to the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex to which Fink says to have it at the Riverdance building is the what they are aiming for.

“The first priority will be the Riverdance, second priority, if we fit it in the budget, will be at the Vollmer,” says Fink. “If we find out that we cannot bring it in on budget, then we ll have to abandon the project at this time.”

Fink says many people in the community and at the university are aware of the project, but Councilor Terry Burns does not agree with that.

Burns says too much responsibility in funding is falling on LaSalle Council and if the university wants the building, they should be paying for it.

“If we are going to build the new building, it needs to be 100% their responsibility,” says Burns. “I think that’s what the tax payers today are looking for in any type of joint venture.”

Burns says LaSalle will give them the land, give them a grant and it’s as simple as that if they want the project to proceed.

Council will be in the process of drawing possible designs for the fish research centre in the following weeks and make a final decision with the university afterwards.