CAMBRIDGE -- The debate on whether or not to demolish the Preston Springs Hotel has taken a new twist.

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario Cambridge branch has filed an official objection to the city to not get rid of the building.

The objection hopes to stop the City of Cambridge from stripping the building of its heritage status. By doing this the former hotel could be demolished, something that the city’s chief building official Dennis Purcell has called for.

He tells CTV Kitchener their number one priority is public safety.

“It’s just gotten to a point where it’s getting beyond doing anything with it or any viable nature,” he said.

Karen Scott Booth, vice president of ACO Cambridge, says the group disagrees.

“The action taken now should be to stabilize the building and to find an adaptive re-use,” she said.

Their proposal calls for at least the original structure to be saved.

“[The original structure] is the porch, the tower, and the three and a half storeys,” said Booth. “That’s what was there in 1880 and that’s what is protected.”

The group says removing the additions that came later would significantly decrease possible repair costs.

“It’s about 50 per cent of the footprint that would be removed,” said Booth. “Therefore you’ve reduced your costs of stabilizing and conserving the original structure.”

Waterloo Region’s Heritage Planning Advisory Committee is also encouraging the City of Cambridge and the property owner to examine all possible options for the building.

“It’s important to know that we’re not fighting the city on this,” said Booth. “We’re trying to work with the city on this.”

A report will be presented at the next city council meeting and will ask that the matter be refered to the Conservation Review Board. They will decide whether a formal meeting will be held, and if it is, they will provide the city with their recommendations. Council, however, will get to make the final decision.