Walking along Vermilion Avenue lately, sounds of muffled hammers and saws can be heard. It is not a little bit of noise either, but a noise that has continued on since a few weeks ago and has made the curious more curious. It is not someone building a bookcase, but rather someone destroying the old and turning an old space into a new one.
Local contractor Fred Bergsma of Fred and Co. has been contracted to take on the renovation of the old museum and has been busy ever since. The interior walls were torn down and the inside has been reframed to incorporate the old library square footage into the design. Museum Operations Manager Sharon Anderson said the renovation started on February 17 and that by the 18th, the crew had whacked down walls and had most of it in the dumpster.”
“Fred and Jason are part way through framing of the new bones,” continued Anderson. “The new washroom area and staff office are framed in and downstairs the framing of the outside walls to insulate and address the water issue is done. The renovation is moving along smoothly so far and Fred has been excellent to work with. Having a local contractor has been a real bonus. Fred is interested in making the reno project the best possible one that it can be. They have been trying to help us find solutions and working closely with us. We are so pleased with that. We haven’t felt locked into the design that is on paper.”
“Ty French Heating has been awarded the mechanical contract,” stated Anderson, “and is putting in two new high efficiency furnaces and removing the old ducting and putting in air conditioning to keep the space climate controlled, so we can protect the artifacts and archives.” Another local contractor got the electrical contract. “Hayes Creek Electric was awarded the electrical contract,” said Anderson. “Their electrical plan has already been approved and we can’t wait to have some new lighting up. The new lighting is a new product. The lights are track lights with directional spotlights and they are all interchangeable with no fading of artifacts with the LED bulbs.”
All the flooring will be done by Fred and there is also new plumbing going in. “So far the contractors are doing a phenomenal job given the fact that we had a delayed start. I am extremely happy with the local contractor and how the project is progressing.”
Anderson added that the community is excited about the project. “This is the community’s museum and we are looking for ways to have room for displays from the community and that involve the community. We will have rotating displays. We want to have a museum our community can be proud of and I think we are going to get that. It is all coming together…it really is.”
There is great hope that the museum will be mostly done by May 3. “Copper Mountain Mine has approached us to do a fundraiser for the museum mining display during Mining Week on May 3. They are willing to match any funds we raise during the fundraiser. It is a huge opportunity for us.”
Ryan Tessier Account Manger of PR Associates is working with the Mining Association of B.C. to pull the event together. “Pierre Gratton President of MABC and CEO Jim O’Rourke of Copper Mountain Mine will be there representing the mining industry. “Pierre, Jim and I are all looking forward to coming back to Princeton to do another event here and happy to be able to help out the museum. It will be a pleasure to see it once it is completed.”