Qay centre taking shape

  • Jul. 29, 2005 2:00 p.m.

The Qay’llnaagay centre construction project in Skidegate is moving forward in leaps and bounds, with roofing, wiring, plumbing, and duct work all underway at once, writes Mariah McCooey. The site is looking less like a chaotic zone, and more like the imposing and impressive set of structures it will be when finished.
The 45-foot high pole gallery, which towers over the existing museum, will eventually be the home for three totems. From the top of the ‘ski-jump’ roof, the site is buzzing with people working on the roofs, which will all be made of cedar shakes from the mill in Masset. Roofer Dawn Roberts said finding the right sized shake from a pile of randomly-sized ones is like an endless puzzle. There are very specific standards for overlap (4 _ inches) and how far away the gap on top can be from the gap in the previous row.
When you look up at the ceiling from the inside of the buildings, you will see only cedar planks – an interesting design element which means the insulation for the roofs is actually placed on top of the structure.
All of the flat roofs (over the glassed-in walkways that connect every building) will be covered in living moss. My tour-guide Doug Blake said these sections are built “extra strong” to withstand the weight of the water and moss once it’s done. Special ‘torch-on’ waterproofing will be layered onto these sections, to ensure water stays where it’s supposed to. But, according to Mr. Blake, everything in the centre will be very strong, with 4×8 roof joists holding everything up.
The construction team had a dinner recently to celebrate the end to the concrete disaster that meant frustrating months of tests, drilling, digging, and finally ripping out the entire foundations of several buildings.
“Usually you celebrate the end of the roofing,” said Mr. Blake, “this time it was celebrating the end of digging.”
The next step is cedar siding for the buildings. Once the siding is done, work inside can begin.
“Make sure you write in there that I’m doing this all singlehandedly,” joked Mr. Blake. And then more seriously: “It really takes a team.”