Development of the new community hall in Radium Hot Springs continued to push forward last week after several information and public consultation sessions were held, aimed at helping with the design of the hall in the future.

A new community hall for the village has been a topic of discussion for Radium council for the better part of a decade now with it officially being a part of the five-year plan for the last several years.

Starting on Monday, September 12th, the village worked in conjunction with the building committee on analyzing the site, which will be in the park near the current hall in Radium. Mayor Clara Reinhardt said the group did a walk around on the property, evaluating the pros and cons of each potential location such as existing hydro services and potential traffic flow.

It was really good because it solidified our original thoughts of having it where it is or moving it out a little bit toward the ball diamond and if were able to do that then we are hopefully able to maintain the current hall during construction, said Councillor Ron Verboom during council on Wednesday, September 14th. Thats kind of a bonus that way.

The following day, the village invited local wood stakeholders to participate in the discussion and talk about what they could potentially bring to the construction and design of the facility. Ms. Reinhardt said that she was pleased the stakeholders were unified in their approach to help create a workable design for the hall in their discussion.

If one of them came in and said, Well, were only going to do this if you use our product exclusively well, that changes everything, she said. What came out of it was that they had worked together, some of them had trained together and what we heard was that they want to collaborate and want to work together and that we could be a showcase for what each of them bring to the table potentially and if its cost effective.

In addition to these consultations, the building committee also invited user groups who would be using the space such as Parks Canada, the Radium Rotary Club, the Radium Public Library and seniors groups to discuss the potential layout of the space and determine how best to orient it so that everyone can maximize the use of the space.

Its still at the very preliminary stages so were still trying to gather input on what people would use it for, what are some of the things people want to see, Ms. Reinhardt said.

It was also discussed at council that the initial estimated cost of $2.4 million has increased to $2.8 million now that contingency, furniture and other previously unforeseen costs have been accounted for. The maximum amount of money that the village is looking to borrow for the project will be $2.2 million that could be spread out over a maximum of 30 years.

Ms. Reinhardt said this cost wont affect taxpayers significantly though, as there will be other loans such as the fire truck lease that will expire once the community hall loan needs to be taken out.

With this public consultation completed, Ms. Reinhardt said they will be coming up with a design before the end of October that they will be able to discuss with the public before drafting a final budget.