The North Shore Hall will undergo a major infrastructure upgrade with construction expected to begin early 2015.

North Shore Hall to receive major upgrade

The Regional District of Central Kootenay approved $200,000 for the $400,000 Area F project on Thursday.

The North Shore Hall will receive a $400,000 renovation in 2015. The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) agreed to allot $200,000 in Community Works Funds to the hall infrastructural upgrades last Thursday upon recommendation from the Rural Affairs Committee.

Area F director and Rural Affairs Committee chair Ron Mickel supported the project and said “There will be no increase in taxation.” He explained that about $300,000 of the approximate $416,000 project comes from gas tax funds. The remaining of the funding has come from Nelson Search and Rescue, the Columbia Basin Trust and a $95,000 five-year term loan.

Mickel said the basement of the hall has had $50-60,000 in asbestos abatement as per agreement with the Nelson Search and Rescue who now lease a portion of the basement and use the hall as their staging location. Other than that, the hall has not undergone any upgrades since the early 1970s.

The renovations will include flooring upgrades for active recreation, fitness and dance programs; electrical, basement and upstairs bathrooms to be universally accessible, new windows and improved aesthetics and acoustics.

Mickel said the proximity of the the hall just across the big orange bridge from Nelson (675 Whitemore Road)  may alleviate some of the cramped conditions with user groups like gymnastics, dance and yoga.

A report prepared for the RDCK board by Water Services Liaison Tanji Zumpano stated the improvements will, “result in the additional 1200 hours of accessible recreational programming per year, 200 hours of community event time and another 200 hours of community meeting and training time per year.”

This includes youth and senior user groups and other training programs along with community special events.

“The exterior won’t change much,” said Mickel, “but that might be stage two in the future.”

“It going to be a really good for the community and the recreation service,” said Mickel. “We’ve been struggling; we need more gymnastic facilities so this will be a good alternative. Programs that are crunched for space… can move to that facility.”

With the funding in place, the project is expected to go to a competitive tender in December and January with the bid awarded at the end of January.

The upgrades are expected to take three to five months. Construction could start as early as February and finish in May but Mickel says it depends on the contractor’s availability as well.

“I suspect July is probably more realistic [for completion],” said Mickel.

The RDCK owns the building and expects to see another 20 years of use with the upgrades.

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