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NSCAD announces it will *not* be moving next to the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

"The gallery’s evolving building design and related space constraints means it no longer meets the needs of NSCAD."


The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and NSCAD University aren't breaking up, but they might on a Ross and Rachel-style break: In an email newsletter sent this morning from NSCAD's interim president, Sarah McKinnon, the school gave a laundry list of updates—including that "NSCAD will not be co-locating on the Salter Block of the Halifax Waterfront with the AGNS. The gallery’s evolving building design and related space constraints on the site means it no longer meets the spatial and programmatic needs of NSCAD’s vision for the future."

The art school's been looking to move from its current digs at the Fountain Campus (the string of historic buildings at 5163 Duke Street) since at least 2015, because of upkeep required to the property and accessibility concerns. (In 2018, then-president Dianne Taylor-Gearing told CBC "We have leaking roofs.")

Since 2018, the plan had been to share a postal code with the new AGNS—which will be moving from its Hollis street location to what is now a parking lot on the waterfront—something the provincial government touted as an "iconic" project when announced. 

While McKinnon's email doesn't state exactly what will replace the NSCAD/AGNS plan, it does indicate that the school will double down on its Port Campus footprint, adding more classes from the Duke Street location to the 70,000 square foot building located at 1107 Marginal Road (near the Seaport Farmers' Market). "The university continues to consult with its faculty, students and stakeholders on evolving space usage at the Port Campus related to the planned relocation of classes and studios from Fountain Campus," it reads. "Feedback from this engagement will help inform the revitalization project’s planning and design work." As well, McKinnon adds a "$15 million Port Campus revitalization project" will be headed up by Moriyama and Teshima Architects. 

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