Riverfront Centre ready to go

Ground breaking for the Riverfront Centre is slated to happen later next week.

Site of the future Riverfront Centre.

Site of the future Riverfront Centre.

Fencing is up and a trailer is on site as Ledcor Construction readies to dig in to Trail’s new multi-million project the Riverfront Centre.

“We are just finalizing some plans,” says Trail Mayor Mike Martin. “Ledcor arrived on Monday, the site superintendent is on site now, we are in early discussions on set up we hope to have the ground breaking in the latter part of next week.”

The Kelowna-based company was awarded a $5.3 million contract to build the integrated library/museum last month, tentative date of completion is slated for September 2017.

Behind the scenes, “Starting a New Chapter” fundraising between the Trail Historical Society (THS) and district library is still underway, contributions will go toward outfitting the new state-of-the-art building.

Besides that venture, society volunteers are collaborating with an exhibit designer to come up with story boards of Silver City history to go along with permanent archival displays on the Centre’s main and upper floor.

“Each layout of the galleries has been completed and a preliminary design of the exhibit areas has been completed,” THS President Jamie Forbes told the Trail Times. “What we are doing now, is zeroing in on each of the specific areas and working on the stories lines, what the story will be, in each of the exhibit areas.”

Once the narratives are finished, the society will begin photo selection and write captions for each snapshot, then move into the final framework with the exhibit designer.

At present, there are five key “suites” within the main floor sports gallery each suite has a sports-related theme, including Trail’s history in hockey, baseball, curling and track and field.

Plans for the building’s top floor include six suites within one main gallery, each section will tell a story about the city’s history in general.

“Those will be permanent,” clarified Forbes. “We’ve been working on this for awhile and the committee has done all the research, now it’s just a matter of putting the information into words that are easy to understand and simple.”

The society has also completed an inventory of its vast collections.

“So we do have a list of artifacts that at this point, we intend to use,” he added. “That’s another thing we’ll be working on with the exhibit designer when we start the final design of the suites.

“We have the artifacts, now how do we use them in the display, in such a way to fit the story we are trying to tell.”

Sorting through the city’s history has been painstaking but the society is still going full steam ahead.

“We are just trying to bite off a piece at a time, put it to bed and then move onto the next piece,” said Forbes.

In addition to the permanent galleries, there will be two “rotating” displays which will change themes a few times a year.

The Riverfront Centre will be approximately 15,000-square feet, two-story facility on the corner of Bay Avenue and Helena Street.

The new build had to fit a certain brief, the final design has to be an engaging cultural facility that integrates a modern library and museum. Once complete, the building is meant to be a community hub, offering interactive, hands-on learning experiences with up-to-date technology with easy access for everyone.