Gordon Stewart can see the light at the end of the Bunsen burner.
The Big Little Science Centre’s executive director confirmed the educational facility will remain closed until the first week of April, when it is expected to re-open at its new downtown location on Seymour Street.
Gordon Stewart said an architect went through the building last week to ensure what has been proposed in the renovation will fit the space and be in line with regulations. With planning work and permitting now completed, it’s just a matter of building out the new centre.
“Now we’ve got a better handle on how much actually has to be done in all the different spots,” Stewart said.
Plumbing, HVAC installation, electrical work, framing drywall and painting are among the tasks to be finished in the building. The science centre will take up the east-facing portion of the of the former Value Village store at Seymour Street and Fifth Avenue.
The space will be carved up into two classrooms, a large open space, offices, bathrooms and storage.
“The biggest change is we’re going to a bigger open space and two classrooms as opposed to four,” Stewart said.
The Big Little Science Centre was forced to move out of its Happyvale elementary location in Brocklehurst last October as part of a domino effect of relocations caused when Parkcrest elementary burned to the ground.
After finding its new home, there have been multiple projections, dating back to November, for when the centre would re-open.
The past three months have been spent dealing with the permitting process and having to juggle a redesign of the proposed layout during demolition of the space, Stewart told KTW.
“Certain walls looked like they could come out and couldn’t, so you’d have to redesign around them because part of the building’s being supported by it. Then you have to redesign around that and reshape it,” he said.
There were also limited options on where to place the bathrooms, while a few beams and posts weren’t in the spots indicated in the building’s drawings.
Stewart said the renovation cost is about $400,000, but about $300,000 worth of work has been covered through in-kind donations from various organizations in Kamloops.
“We’re asking for donations and support and we’re getting a lot of good companies stepping up,” Stewart said, noting 16 companies have stepped in to help with the renovation.
“And that’s ranging from property management people, to project management, to electrical companies, to engineering companies, security people, framing people, flooring — anything you need in a building, we’ve had people step up and help with,” Stewart said.
He said the project could still use volunteers to do some painting and drywall work. Those interested in lending a hand, or donating to the cause, can call Stewart at 250-554-2572 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A welcome cash donation
Meanwhile, a Kamloops foundation has donated $50,000 to the Big Little Science Centre and hopes other donors will match the gift.