June 20, 2008

Cultural Centre Contractors Announced

Chilliwack's $22 million cultural centre now has an architect and a construction company, and ground will break in July
Chilliwack Times

The official announcement of the selected proponent for the design/build project was made at a special regular meeting of city council June 20.

“It’s going to hold a lot of people for some pretty exciting events in there,” said Michael MacDonald, principal architect for Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., during his presentation to council.

Kasian is the designer of the new 60,000 square foot facility slate for completion in 2010, and Bird Construction is the builder.

“We are extremely pleased to have Bird Construction on board to build the new cultural centre,” said Mayor Clint Hames. “The project is an important one and will create extraordinary opportunities to support arts and culture in the community.”

The cultural centre will be a state-of-the-art facility located on Corbould Avenue next to the curling rink and Evergreen Hall. It will be built using what is known in the industry as “tilt-up” construction, and will be made with the tallest panels of any building in the Lower Mainland, according to Don Wyker of Bird Construction.

The yet-to-be-named centre will include an art gallery, a 500-plus seat performance theatre, and a 150-seat hall that can be used as a recital hall, a rehearsal space, a dance studio or a meeting space. There will also be music instruction rooms, arts and crafts studios and other related amenities.

While the cultural centre is yet to be named, on the same day the contractors were announced, the Rotary Club has pledged $100,000 to the project to go towards equipping the 150-seat hall, which will be known as Rotary Hall.

At Friday’s noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, club president Don Patten presented Coun. Pat Clark with a cheque for $20,000, the first payment towards its pledge.

The overall project price tag is $22 million with the city contributing $19,476,000 towards completion. The remaining $2 million will be raised through a combination of grants, fundraising and naming rights such as the Rotary pledge.

Whether or not the final project will bear the name of a corporate sponsor is yet to be determined, and the city is still working on a naming policy for city-owned projects.

by Paul J. Henderson