Restoring, reinstalling Regina's glockenspiel could cost $500K

Restoring and reinstalling a musical monument beloved by Regina's German community could cost half a million dollars.

A glockenspiel, donated to the city in 1985, was taken down from Victoria Park in 2010 for renovations and the construction of City Square Plaza. 

It wasn't reinstalled, its condition and location remain a mystery, and the delay in restoration has hit a sour note with the Regina German Club. 

In September, a motion was put forward at City Hall to have the glockenspiel reinstalled.

Then-manager of community and cultural development for the City of Regina, Jeff Erbach, told CBC the glockenspiel was something that required constant maintenance.

"This is a really complex project," said Emmaline Hill, the current manager of community and cultural development for the City of Regina.

Hill says the instrument and its 23 bells had a habit of breaking down and playing erratically. The city wants the glockenspiel to be programmable and enjoyed by park goers for years to come.

"In hindsight I think the instrument just wasn't made to withstand the climate in Regina," said Hill.

The instrument will be cleaned before it is re-erected, but Hill says the base of the glockenspiel might be refurbished as well. In fact, part of the proposed funding could go towards making a new base from recovered granite from the old city hall.

Cheaper alternatives, says club

On Thursday, the matter is coming up again. According to a report from the city, the glockenspiel "requires an almost complete refurbishment." All in all, restoration and reinstallation could cost $512,000.  

But Kerri Van Loosen of the Regina German Club thinks there are cheaper alternatives.

She said part of the glockenspiel is rusting away in a yard and she worries there is no intention by the city to have it back in its original place. 

"It just hurts because everyone that lives in Regina or Saskatchewan for that matter knows that the Germans that immigrated here were people who contributed to society," Van Loosen said.

"To me, that's what what this glockenspiel means."

The glockenspiel's original location in the park was significant due to its proximity to the city's old Germantown.

A motion was approved by council to add the full cost of the restoration and reinstallation to the 2018 budget. The future of the glockenspiel will be furthered discussed at city council on March 27.