The design concept for the Columbia Valley Community Facility has begun to take shape.
Shape Architecture principal architect, Alec Smith, unveiled a 3-D model of the approved design, colour coded plans and images prepared by Shape Architecture for roughly 70 people at the June 16th open house held at the Invermere Community Hall.
To be totally frank, weve worked really hard and weve worked with the Multi-Use Facility Advisory Committee (MUAC) many, many times, said Mr. Smith. Weve met with the stakeholders, weve really tried to vet the project through as many people (who) are going to be involved with the use of the facility and I thought the presentation went really well.
He has been busy working in conjunction with the MUAC to help build a framework for the recreational activities and events that will be housed within the planned Columbia Valley Community Facility, which will be constructed at the old location of the David Thompson Secondary School, knocked down roughly six months ago.
The nature of designing a facility of this level of complexity is such that it evolves over time, said Mr. Smith. We have a budget that we have to work to and the secret is trying to maintain the vision for the project, maintain the functionality but to refine the project as needed to make sure that you meet the budget as you move forward, so Im really happy about where the project is at right now and Im incredibly excited about it. Its part of the nature of the beast that these projects evolve as time goes on and as more technical information and more costing information becomes available.
The next step will be providing another cost estimate in late June or early July.
Shape Architecture will then move into the next stage of the project to complete the construction documents with technical drawings of the contract being used for the build.
In addition, the District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft will be meeting with the Invermere Public Library and the Invermere Summit Youth Centre to discuss the possibility of changing their plans to cater to the needs of both groups.
The feasibility of moving the Invermere Summit Youth Centre into the Invermere Public Librarys current space, and putting the library into the space allotted for the youth in the Columbia Valley Community Facility, is being investigated, said Mr. Taft.
Well need to talk to the Regional District of East Kootenay to confirm the funding for the library, and then to formally meet with the youth centre and library boards, he said. Well continue to investigate what the space would look like if it was designed for library space and what kinds of improvements would be needed for the library building for the youth centre to be able to use it, but so far, the (response) has been really positive even though its a last minute change.
Tom Symington, vice chair of the library board, believes the proposed change could work to their advantage.
I think the architect has done a wonderful job in finding the space for different groups to compromise in the (multi-purpose room) and the main hall, said Mr. Symington. The surprise that weve learned about in the last few days is the fact that there could be a switch with the youth centre space and the present library space and that came as quite a surprise. Obviously, its to our advantage if we can make use of this space.
He added that libraries are evolving and no longer require the same amount of space in a building to stack books, but instead are a gathering place to learn and support others.
I think we would welcome (the change) because I think the present (location of the library) is too small, said Mr. Symington. This would give us more space, more light and we would have some space outdoors that could be put to use. Parking. Theres access for people with (mobility issues; signage for people with visual or hearing handicaps). Its come as an unforeseen development that we would welcome, but we dont want to step on anybodys toes either.
The Invermere Summit Youth Centre, which is governed by the Windermere Youth Centre Society, embraced the possible change and is prepared to be adaptable.
Were thrilled that the MUAC and the voting members of the (Columbia Valley Community Facility) recognize the value and needs of the youth in the Columbia Valley, said Sherry Doerr, president of the Windermere Youth Centre Society and chair of the board of directors. Also, for recognizing that the space which was allocated for us was not going to meet our needs and for the DOI to offer us our own distinct building that will be a home for years to come is a triumph for all of us.
Lastly, Mr. Taft remains optimistic that the ground for this project will break in the spring of 2016.
The district acquired the land from the school district about 20 years ago, so weve been talking about this new building for almost 20 years and its exciting to know that its real, said Mr. Taft. Were designing it and have the money in place, so its an exciting project.