Despite being a million dollars short of their first-phase fund-raising goal, the Osoyoos Museum Society will forge ahead with its relocation project starting early in the new year.
“We’ll be in there with sledgehammers on January 2,” executive director Kara Burton told ODN this morning following a presentation to Osoyoos town council.
Burton outlined the society’s vision and plans to a council committee meeting, pledging to be open in the new Main Street facility in time for the 2020 tourist season.
The museum, currently located in the old curling rink Quonset building adjacent to Gyro Park, is moving to the soon-to-be-vacated Home Building Centre across Main Street from the town hall complex. The project has been nearly a decade in the making.
Town and regional district taxpayers bought the building in 2011, following a successful referendum. The plan was for the Home Building Centre to move to a new facility adjacent to the airport and the museum to take over in early 2017.
Those plans fell through when the parent company decided against relocating building supply store and the project was put off until 2020.
Now the new building centre, adjacent to the Osoyoos airstrip, is ready to open December 6. The society takes possession of the old building January 1.
Burton told council the budget for phase one of the project – which includes extensive renovations to the building, main floor display space and ancillary facilities – is about $2.5 million.
So far, they have about $1.5 million in the bank. The bulk of that — $700,000 – is in the so-called “net lease revenue account,” which is the accumulated rent revenue that Home Building has been paying since it sold the building to the regional district in 2011.
Burton told council the society recently received a $250,000 BC Gaming grant and continues to seek grants and funding from all possible sources, corporate, government, private and individual.
She said the working drawings for the project are expected this week, shortly after which the society will go to tender for the work.
As for the not having all of the money on hand, Burton said the society has devised contingency plans, based on which pieces of the project are vital and which can wait a while.
For example, she said, the new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system may have to wait until more funding shows up. Or, the elevator may not get built right away, but the shaft will be installed.
But the museum will open in June, she said.
The $500,000 second phase of the project, which is likely years down the road, will include a multi-purpose room, additional washrooms and closed storage on the lower level and an urban park and performance area on the west side of the building.