Dawson Creek mayor and council viewed the Calvin Kruk Centre for the Arts on Monday, where the top two floors are more than 90 per cent done, according to the project manager and architect of the renovations.
“It’s really exciting to see there,” he said. “People may forget how big the centre is.”
However, the project, which was scheduled to have opened this August, will not be open for students until Fall 2013.
The project will also have to draw funds from next year’s budget, as council voted in a meeting closed to the public to put two separate tenders into 2013’s budget.
Jim Chute, the City’s chief administrative officer, said that these costs will put the building over its original intended budget cost.
Chute said that originally the entire building was tendered out to a single firm, Preview Builders International (PBI). Due to problems that the City had with the contractor, that work was renegotiated to only include the top two floors.
The remaining work within the basement will still have to be put out to tender.
Water infiltration was also an issue. While PBI repaired the water infiltration to what was specified in their original contract, said Chute, the issue of water infiltration was greater, and the ground around the building needed to be dug in.
However, he could not say how much the project would put the budget over, as that would have to wait until the project went to tender.
The City also agreed to put in sufficient funds to install weeping tile around the building that would help defeat water infiltrating into the building.
Despite this, the project was well enough along that councillors were able to tour all three floors – some of them for the first time – on Monday.
Many of them seemed impressed with what they saw during the tour.
However, the Arts Centre, which began renovations in 2009, was still far from complete.
Some contractors were still working on painting and finishing up portions of the building during the tour.
Bruce Haden, the project’s architect, told council that the highest floor was 95 per cent done, while the middle floor could be considered 90 per cent done.
“The bones of the building were extremely solid and so were able to keep a high percentage,” he added.
Gerald Longson, the site’s project manager, told council that part of the delays was that asbestos was found in the building, which was originally built in 1956.
“But every time we opened all the walls up… we discovered more asbestos,” he said. “WorkSafe B.C. came to us, and you know how difficult WorkSafe B.C. can be.”
Other problems were discovered during construction as well, including lead paint. Lead paint is considered possibly dangerous because lead dust from the paint can cause lead poisoning.
“They were all covered with that old red primer and that red primer was a lead based primer,” said Johnson. “So we had to either clean it all of or encapsulate it, so that’s what we’ve done here. Not only do we have to encapsulate it, but we have to fireproof it at the same time.”
The main theatre room did not have seats laid in, and while the lighting was present, some construction items still scattered the room.
However, some of those portions that were completed seemed to impress councillors.
Some Dawson Creek councillors, including Cheryl Shuman, said during the tour that they enjoyed the natural lighting that came in to the top floors of the second floor.
Bernier said that one of the highlights was the main lobby, which had been changed so that people can see from the second floor into the basement, with thin tubed light bulbs hanging from strings.
In the past, the building had been three floors, which each had their own ceiling.
Councillor Charlie Parslow also said that the new building had some nice design features, and that they were able to keep some heritage issues maintained.
However, he still had issues with the state of the building.
“I was amazed at the work that still needed to be done,” he added. “It’s too bad some of the costs have gone up.”
Parslow also said he was concerned about the availability of parking and adequate crosswalk space for children crossing into the building.
However, he believed that the current Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre was not adequate for the community, and that the project would be a fine location once it was done.