Multi-use centre committee keeps moving forward

The new community hall coming to Invermere saw more of its logistics hammered out

The new community hall coming to Invermere saw more of its logistics hammered out at a meeting with the advisory committee last week.

Members of the Community Hall Advisory Committee met for the regular meeting at the District of Invermere council chambers on Tuesday, August 12th.

Discussed were the needs of the performing consortium, the management of sub-committees, and phase two. A delegation from the library also presented.

Concerns were raised over recreational activities in the multi-use rooms, as the performing arts will have stage equipment that could be damaged by sports like airsoft or basketball, said Barb Neraasen, who was representing the performing consortium. She also raised the possibility of the youth centre and kitchen interfering with performances. As a recommended solution, she said that the theatre should be separated from the multi-use room, even if it means shrinking the size of the room. Ms. Neraasen also suggested the idea of a suspended catwalk above the performance area for audio and visual technicians, and said that there is no need for a raised stage.

Speaking on behalf of the Invermere Public Library, Tom Symington contrasted the area and size of Invermere’s library to those in communities of similar size across the province, which he says have more square footage per user. But chief administrative officer Chris Prosser said that, because other facilities will be offered in the building, it will be less challenging to make efficient use of the space.

As it stands, the size of the new library will likely be built to a dimension around 4,000 square feet (370 square metres), which is expected to cost roughly $350 per square foot, totaling $1.4 million.

With more than $100,000 raised so far, Mr. Symington asked how much of the sum is required before construction can begin on the library. He also asked if the project can begin before phase one is finished, and if the project’s progress is contingent upon the progress of the fitness centre.

Mayor Gerry Taft couldn’t offer a threshold for how much money is required before beginning work on the new library, but cautioned against relying on fundraising as the staple for revenue. He said a referendum will be the most likely method of raising the bulk of the $1.4 million.

“It shouldn’t be for the bricks and mortar – fundraising is for the bells and whistles,” Mr. Taft said.

The library project cannot begin before the completion of phase two he said, but its progress does not depend on that of the fitness centre.

“The two are not connected at the hip,” said Mr. Taft.

When it was time to discuss sub-committees, Mr. Prosser warned against an abundance of task forces, as timeliness is more likely to be taxed when more volunteer roles are created.

The next advisory committee meeting takes place on September 9th between 4 and 6 p.m.