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Process begins for renovation of city’s landmark Civic Centre

Colliers Project Leaders delivered the first public look at the beginning of the much-anticipated project to update, renovate and renew the 89-year-old building.

An avalanche of information and details is set to come on the Civic Centre Revitalization Project as the project leaders have taken the reins.

Colliers Project Leaders delivered the first public look at the beginning of the much-anticipated project to update, renovate and renew the 89-year-old building.

After landing the prime consultant recently — Cover Architecture — Colliers will be kicking off the design process this month, said Kim Turner, project lead, when she spoke to city council on Feb. 28.

She said Colliers already has embarked on a fairly detailed stakeholder engagement that is nowhere near conclusion.

“It’s going to continue on and the information that we were able to provide the community is only going to get more detailed as we engage … and the prime consulting gets on board and we further define what that design is going to look like and the impact on the community,” she said.

Colliers is still looking for additional grants even though budgets have been approved for the project.

The next step is a meeting with the prime designer and an update of the project documents. Then the scope for each project will be validated with the consultant.

Three for one

There are three different scopes with the project: low carbon and heritage renewal; the Civic Theatre renovation; and accessibility upgrades.

The project will be looking at roof components, the insulation, the windows, said Turner, but it will also be looking at building up resiliency by replacing the cooling system, the heating system and installing an HVAC system.

“We want to ensure that all of the different individuals, businesses, that use that facility are comfortable year round,” she said, “and they are not comfortable at the expense of the environment.”

The Civic could also potentially be a place to be used in case of an emergency, said Turner.

The Civic Theatre project has been driven by a very passionate group, she continued, with the Nelson Civic Theatre Society spearheading the initiative for quite a few years.

“They have a couple of different goals and one them is obviously to increase the capacity, increase the availability of that space, turning it from a one-theatre to a three-theatre space,” said Turner, “and really looking at how they can improve the universal accessibility of that space.”

The idea is to make it a safe space where the local art and theatre community, and the local movie industry, can be promoted, said Turner.

Right now only five per cent of that building is accessible, she said.

“And that needs to be adjusted so we can provide the opportunity for everyone to use the theatre, the gymnasium and the dance studio,” Turner explained. “So we have combined all those three scopes into one project.”

Stepping up

One of the next steps is to refine the drawings so that the contractors have something they can build against, said Turner.

Thirty per cent of that detail is what Colliers is hoping to get before it engages a construction manager.

“So we don’t want to progress that design too far down the line because we want that construction manager to come in, provide their input, especially when it comes to cost efficiencies, what material is actually available,” Turner pointed out.

The construction manager is going to be the one to help guide the project by using the right material for the right use, she added.

“As soon we get that concept design we will go ahead and issue some documents to the market to try and engage a construction manager. The big focus of that is going to be finding the right partner, similar to what we did with the prime consultant.”

The Civic Centre accounts for 30 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions from Nelson municipal facilities.