Mayor Bob Simpson says work has begun to turn what used to called the Gold’s lounge that sat above the swimming pool when there was a pool at the location that the library is currently at, into a forestry innovation centre….
“We’re also having some conversations about the possibility that our new agricultural initiative will be hosted there, and it will be an opportunity for us to provide space for researchers, UNBC, UBC, FP Innovations, it will be the site of where our new Forestry Innovation Manager will be located.”
Simpson says they also have very large grant applications in to do some of the work that’s needed to rethink how the forest ecosystems are managed out on the landscape, and he says any of the technologists and others that will be working on that will be housed in there as well.
He says it’s an exciting new venture that brings together a lot of initiatives that they have on the go into one space.
Simpson says it will utilize a space that has effectively been dead space for a long time…
“Since I was elected Mayor we’ve been trying to find a way to get the space repurposed, so that it does generate some revenue into the City. So right now we’re taking the bull by the horns if you will and renovating the space. We’ve got a small reserve fund that we can use for that, so it’s not impacting our next year’s budget at all, and then with it renovated and us having the capacity to host researchers and host some of our initiatives in there, we’ll be able to charge the space back for the grant as part of our administration costs, so it will generate revenue over time.”
Simpson says they are working on the floor plan and it and the budget will be coming to City Council at the next meeting in February.
The plan is to move into the actual build shortly after that.