Rossland’s Miners’ Hall will close for a year

The Miners’ Hall will be closed for renovations beginning in February leaving community groups struggling to find space for their activities.

The renovation, as proposed in the grant process, is in four parts and will keep the hall closed for a year.

The first focuses on the building’s envelope and includes replacing the siding and roofing. The second is the restoration of the facade, which includes restoring the original balcony and installing new storm windows over the original windows. The third is a remodel of the entry plaza and forecourt, and the fourth is the attic level reclamation, which will see the hall’s attic turned into a usable space.

How much of this work gets done will depend on how much money can be raised to support the renovation.

The Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) is behind the remodel of the attic and has been working with the City of Rossland to get funding.

The attic will be home to a new green room for performers and a multi-purpose space where groups could hold smaller performances or classes.

The city itself has been trying to figure out where it will hold its recreation programs once the hall is closed.

“Recreation has been in discussions with the principal of [Rossland Summit School] to try to find space for recreation programs in there,” said Stacey Lightbourne, city planner. “The city has asked [School District] 20 for the use of the Annex for the [Gold Fever] Follies.”

But as of yet nothing has been finalized.

The RCAC is also looking for space to keep its programming going while the hall is closed.

“We’re going to try to come up with some creative solutions to try to keep the performances going,” said Theshini Naicker, vice-president of the RCAC. “One of the options I guess would be to partner with some of the businesses. We haven’t done any ground work yet, but I do have some ideas around that.”

One event has already found a new home. The Joe Hill Coffee House will move to the Legion while the Miners’ Hall is closed.

Before the Miners’ Hall shuts its doors the RCAC will host a New Year’s Eve fundraiser to raise money for the attic renovation. The last RCAC performance will be on Jan. 22 when the Remi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble performs a tribute to Dave Brubeck.

The Rossland Mountain Market also uses the Miners’ Hall for its indoor winter markets. Given that the hall is closing at the beginning of February, the final two markets for the season will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 30.

Miche Warwick, coordinator for the market, would like to see a little more communication between the City of Rossland and groups that will be impacted by the closure.

“I think it could be beneficial to groups and the community that typically use the Miners’ Hall to have some type of communication session with council just to understand the project a little bit, and what’s required, and like the lack of community space that’s available,” said Warwick. “Because the renovation is scheduled to take such a long period of time, I think it will really affect the community.”

Naicker feels that it is because the Miners’ Hall is so important to the community that it’s important to go ahead with the renovation.

“It is the only community space really that we have in Rossland, so you know it’s kind of important to keep it functional,” she said.

Meanwhile Rossland will have to find a way to make do without the Miners’ Hall.

Chelsea Novak – Rossland News