(Kahnawake – 25, Onerahtókha/April 2023) The Kahnawà:ke Multi-Purpose Building Project Team (KMPB) wishes to update the community on the escalation of costs to the construction of the building that will house the Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center (KORLCC), Museum, the Turtle Island Theatre Company, and Kahnawà:ke Tourism, which is scheduled to begin construction by this fall. The price tag for the new optimized design currently sits at 55.746M, which includes turn-key operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on many industries, and the construction sector is no exception. Labor and material costs have skyrocketed while supply shortages continue to intensify. The original cost estimate per square foot has nearly doubled since 2018, leading to the overall project and budget increase.

“Estimators, contractors, sub-trades, and suppliers have no control over the cost and materials in these market conditions,” said Project Manager Louie John Diabo. “Add to that, over the past year, there have been labor shortages due to varying circumstances resulting from the pandemic.”

The Building Committee, who is responsible for the design of the building, began optimization of the plan that the architects presented in February 2023 at the cost of 68.5 million dollars. The new concept has reduced square footage and the reorganization of various areas (that are still being finalized) in order to bring costs down while still having a state-of-the-art building.

“Together, the partners collaborating on this project are confident in the Project and Capital Campaign,” said Lisa Phillips, Executive Director of KORLCC, one of the partners that comprise the KMPB. “We have so far successfully secured a majority of the funds from external funding sources and are in the process of acquiring the remaining funding components. We encourage community members to stay tuned for more updates on the project and opportunities to contribute to the fundraising effort.”


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