The Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre site at Second Beach is ready for construction to begin in the spring.
The second portion of the work is complete, and all the site services are installed, says Colin Richardson, member of both the Skidegate Band Council and the Qay’llagaay Heritage Centre board of directors.
The ground under the foundations has been prepared and brought up to code, says Mr. Richardson. The water and sewer lines are in place as well as conduits to hold the electrical and telephone lines. A special water run-off system is in place and the new access road has been built.
The Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre Society board has agreed to tender the construction portion of the project, with conditions, and expects to begin construction in March or April. Completion is scheduled for summer of 2005, says Mr. Richardson. The entire project is expected to cost about $19-million.
Meanwhile the society board and the band office are making long-range plans for further infrastructure development. They are working on design of a hotel complex with the Gwaalagaa Naay Corp.
“The Skidegate Band Council has been working very closely with the Qay’llagaay Heritage Centre Board, the Haida Gwaii Museum Society and Parks Canada to raise the level of tourism infrastructure on Haida Gwaii, which will benefit all islands residents,” says Mr. Richardson.
As well as buildings, the various groups involved in the project are working on a financial plan to make sure the centre is successful.
“Cultural facilities have been shown in the past to have problems with operating costs and we are putting in place an endowment fund to overcome any operating shortfalls,” says Mr. Richardson. “Out of this facility will come spin off benefits and that’s where the financial gain to the people of Skidegate and the islands will come from.”
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