Skidegate’s Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre is under construction, and so far everything is going smoothly and on schedule, according to Bob Haldorson, construction manager for the project, Mariah McCooey writes
“It’s not just going to be one big long building,” he said, “there will be five new sections, all with interconnecting walkways, and it will attach to the existing museum.”
Some features include a giant fireplace, lecture hall, carving shed, canoe storage, kitchen, office space, assembly hall, a 40′ high pole gallery, and classrooms.
Most buildings will be one story, said Mr. Haldorson, except for the western corner of the structure, which will be two.
It’s hard to picture the finished building, looking at a obstacle course of cement tracks with rebar sticking out haphazardly, but the workers on site are very excited about the finished product.
“This is going to be phenomenal,” said Brendan Hunt, who came here from Port Edward to work on this site. “This is a carpenter’s dream projectÂ… they’re using real wood. There won’t be another project like this,” he said. The plans call for 18-32-inch cedar planks that will make up the walls and ceiling. It’s an open-ceiling concept, everything is exposed from the inside, so the underside of the cedar ceiling planks will be visible.
All the flat sections of roof, mostly over the interconnecting walkways, will be covered in living moss, according to the plans. In fact, there are several features specially designed to minimize environmental impact-the cement being used, for example, contains a high percentage of ‘fly ash,’ the waste product from coal-fired generators. Wally Mills, the concrete expert on site, explained that it helps to make the mixing process more environmentally friendly, by supplementing the cementing material with this natural by-product. Two-hundred cubic metres of cement have already been used on the footings, he said, and there will be more used for parts of the walls. This is in addition to 110,000 pounds of re-bar.
If all continues to go well, the centre should be completed in 16 months.
Total cost of the full project is estimated at over $19-million. It will include an expansion for the museum, a 250-seat performing arts centre, the Bill Reid teaching centre as well as a gift shop and cafeteria.
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