A joint renovation plan in principle has been approved for the Miners’ Union Hall.
City council approved the combination of a Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) renovation plan and a pending City of Rossland plan on April 8.
Council agreed with an RCAC assessment that some synergies could be achieved if the two budgets and renovation plans were amalgamated. A partnership between the RCAC and the City to maximize the funding opportunities available was deemed beneficial to both, a City staff report advised council.
“Our intent is to build a common renovation plan and budget that is ‘shelf ready’ and would allow RCAC and the City to take advantage of any funding opportunities that may arise in the near future,” read a letter from Renate Fleming, RCAC president, to council.
Council was asked by the RCAC for the inclusion of the Miners’ Hall reserve funds in the revenue portion of the draft budget for the common renovation plan “to maximize the opportunity to leverage grant funding.” The City’s reserve fund to cover renovation expenses could be $325,000 by 2014.
For their part, the RCAC could utilize, among others, the Columbia Basin Trust for funds, as well as the Canada Cultural Spaces fund.
According to the City staff report, realization of the Miners’ Hall attic renovation project would be a “great enhancement and will provide better usage and economic viability of the hall.”
The proposed $445,000 plan—put forward March 25 by the RCAC —called for a renovation to the hall’s attic on the fourth floor. The renovations include a green room—the space which accommodates performers not yet required on stage—and storage, as well as around $75,000 for furnishings, stage replacement, window curtains, and a new lighting system in the theatre.
The City also had plans for renovations to the venerable hall, with around $330,000 needed to complete the work. The plans include reassessing the foundation, installing new doors and windows and replacing the existing roof and siding. Building access and some landscaping would also be done.
These planned renovations would likely take place in spring and summer of 2014.
City staff was directed April 8 to work with RCAC to develop a common plan and draft budget for both the attic renovation and the City’s planned upgrades.
Rotating sculpture in downtown
Council also gave its approval on a project to allow City staff to help find an appropriate location for a rotating sculpture display.
RCAC had also asked for assistance from public works with site preparation prior to installation of sculpture next year.
A regional sculpture program for 2014 could also include Trail, Nelson and Kaslo.
“Supporting the RCAC Rotating Sculpture Project will be another addition to the City’s downtown core,” read a City staff report.
Overview of renovation planning
The RCAC has completed several consultations this year regarding development of the attic of the Miners’ Hall, including:
structural engineer Steven Thomas (Nelson)
building code consultant B. Clarke Engineering (Summerland)
fire assessment by the regional district fire marshal.
Thomas Loh, a Nelson-based architect, has prepared an initial concept drawing that considers the input provided by the professionals consulted.
Based on the architectural drawing, the RCAC hired Jim Bush from JBA in Nelson, a professional Quantity Surveyor, to provide an official cost estimate for the planned renovations. The total estimate for the attic renovations is $445,000.
Jennifer Cowan – Rossland News