Released on March 13, 2014
The Government of Saskatchewan will hand over keys to the Wolseley Courthouse to the Town of Wolseley. The arrangement, through the Ministry of Central Services, will see the community turn the building into municipal offices and space for community organizations.
"I am pleased to work with Wolseley to protect this heritage property, so new life can be breathed into the 119 year old building,” Central Services Minister Nancy Heppner said. “The space has been vacant for some time, and it will be exciting to see it restored.”
The building ceased operation as a courthouse in 1909, but continued to serve as a public building in the community for many years. Although the 3,820 square foot building has been vacant for several decades, the building and grounds have been maintained by the Ministry of Central Services.
The Wolseley Heritage Foundation has proposed three key phases to the building rejuvenation:
The Town of Wolseley has demonstrated a strong commitment to the restoration and preservation of its heritage buildings and historic houses, including the Opera House and the town’s unique swinging bridge.
- the revitalization of the exterior of the Wolseley Courthouse;
- the rehabilitation of the interior of the building making it ready for occupancy; and
- the move of the municipal government offices and public spaces into the courthouse.
“This is a significant undertaking for our community,” Wolseley Mayor Dennis Fjestad said. “The Courthouse testifies to the tremendous optimism and forward thinking shared with our first settlers. Once again we have the opportunity to demonstrate that pioneer spirit. Acquisition of heritage property carries with it both pride and responsibility. It creates a great potential for future use of our historic Courthouse and represents a strong commitment for the preservation of our past.”
A joint effort between the Town of Wolseley, the Wolseley Heritage Foundation and the province will help cover the costs of the restoration. The town has agreed to provide $300,000 and the Wolseley Heritage Foundation has committed to raising $218,000. Central Services will provide funds of $100,000 a year for three years to help bring the building back up to standards.
The Wolseley Courthouse is a provincially-designated heritage building built in 1894-1895. It is the oldest existing courthouse building in Saskatchewan and the only one built during the era of the Territorial Government.
For more information, contact:
Central Services Communications