Province and City to Partner on Officer Square Archeological Assessment in Fredericton

The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and the City of Fredericton have established an agreement to complete an archeological impact assessment within Officers’ Square this summer. (GNB News Release)

“Officer’s Square is recognized as a National Historic Site,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Bruce Fitch. “That is why archeologists from our department will be involved in undertaking a series of archeological test pits throughout the interior of the square, while the city continues the wall revitalization and sandstone cladding.”

Provincial archeologists and field technicians will work from early June until the end of August. The square has already been subjected to extensive surveys by ground-penetrating radar to better guide the archeological assessment.

“Officers’ Square is the heart of our downtown and we know people are looking forward to it fulfilling its full potential as a place to remember our heritage and as our main community gathering place,” said Mayor Mike O’Brien. “It has taken longer than we had originally hoped, but this collaboration with the department is a major milestone in our journey toward a revitalized Officers’ Square.”

Should any significant heritage artifacts be found, the department and the city will collaborate on a mitigation plan to ensure they are conserved during the upcoming phases of construction.

The department will engage with First Nations representatives throughout the process and will begin a formal Indigenous consultation early this fall.

Later in the summer, city crews will complete the wall revitalization by placing sandstone pillars, coping stones and sandstone fascia on the perimeter of the square. Additionally, sandstone will be installed on the Queen Street central stairs and the 104th Regiment monument will be returned to its prominent location. In the fall, contractors will complete the perimeter by adding the iconic metal railings into the balustrade.