Creston’s historic grain elevators were purchased in 2018 by the Columbia Basin Trust, who will begin work to restore the structures in 2021. (Aaron Hemens photo)

Architects found for Creston grain elevators restoration project

Next Architecture is an architecture firm based in Edmonton, Alta., and they will take the lead in helping to design and restore the elevators

The Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) has found the architects for their restoration project of Creston’s two-grain elevators.

Next Architecture is an architecture firm based in Edmonton, Alta., and they will take the lead in helping to design and restore the elevators.

“It’s really exciting for us and for the community as well,” said Mark Brunton, the Trust’s senior manager of delivery of benefits. “We just recently engaged with them in the past few weeks, and they were on sight this week doing their preliminary assessment.”

The Trust purchased the elevators in 2018, and are working to preserve them for future generations.

Construction is slated to begin in 2021 and be completed by the end of that year.

READ MORE: Creston grain elevators purchased by CBT

The white elevator was built in 1935 and ceased operations in 1971, while the red one was built in 1936 and was closed in 1982. Both were used to collect, store and ship locally grown wheat, barley, oats and rye.

“When we did our preliminary assessment, the red one was in significantly better shape, so we wanted to direct our resources to preserve the red one first and then see how that goes before we decide what to do with the white one,” said Brunton.

Residents and passersby can expect to see the red elevator with a new roof, fresh sidings and refurbished windows once construction is done.

He added that the future of the white elevator has not yet been decided, and a public consultation event with Creston residents later this fall will help to determine the structure’s fate.

“That will feed into the decision-making. That will help inform us what to do next with the white one,” said Brunton.

READ MORE: Creston’s historic grain elevators begin restoration process

The red elevator, which houses the Kunze Gallery, went through an extensive hazardous-material cleanup that started in 2019 and was completed earlier this year.

“Mostly bio-hazards. We had bird droppings and rodent droppings, and there was also some grain that was inside that was mouldy,” said Brunton.

“All of those were significant bio-hazards that had to be removed.”

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