EDMONTON – A long-time Edmonton resident is hoping an online petition can save the old Royal Alberta Museum from demolition.
Alberta Infrastructure is calling on consultants to submit proposals to examine the potential development of RAM into public green space.
The museum closed its doors last year and is moving into a new space downtown, where it expects to open to the public by late 2017 or early 2018.
June Acorn launched the petition this week in hopes of convincing the province to stop any plans for demolition and repurpose the building.
“I believe the building has historic value and has future value,” Acorn explained.
“For them to say, make it into a green space, is really ridiculous because it is a green space. It’s a park and it’s beautiful.”
Acorn grew up in the Glenora neighbourhood, a few blocks from the old museum. She has fond memories of the site.
“It has been an educational building, particularly for young children, which, I mean, it was lovely for young children. It was easy, it was not intimidating like this new museum is going to be as most world-class museums, as they say it’s going to be, are,” she said.
June’s son John Acorn, also known as The Nature Nut, is an renown scientist, author and broadcaster who’s made a career out of his passion for nature. June credits her son’s early visits to RAM for his passion for science.
“He really started his interest in natural history at that time,” Acorn said.
Acorn’s goal is to gather 2,500 signatures by March 15. By noon Wednesday, the online petition had already garnered 2,100 signatures.
Tracey Larsen, spokesperson for Alberta Infrastructure, said a green space is one option the ministry is looking at and that it is examining all options for the parcel of land.
Larsen added there is no timeline on when any decision will be made about the future of the land, but any option must wait until at least 2019, which is when the museum will be vacated.