Heritage Park looking at new legacy building

A $115,000 sponsorship opportunity exists to help offset costs

These storage containers at Fraser River Heritage Park could soon be replaced by a $1 million legacy building.

The Mission Heritage Association wants to partner with the District of Mission to build a $1-million legacy building in the eastern part of Fraser River Heritage Park.

Dubbed the Clayburn Maintenance Legacy Building, it would be located where shipping containers used by maintenance crews currently sits.

It would feature two floors of 6,000 square feet and a greenhouse would be attached to one of the sides.

The bottom floor would provide 600 square feet of washroom space, with 2,400 square feet for maintenance equipment and tools. The 2,000-square foot top floor will be used for meetings or classroom events.

The project is expected to cost roughly $1.07 million, with the association asking the district to fund a quarter of that.

Association member Brian Antonson pitched the idea to council May 22, explaining that private partnerships and corporate sponsors are contingent upon an agreement with the municipality.

“Everything that’s been done at the park over the years has been done on this collaborative model,” he said, adding the first structure built 25 years ago, Norma Kenney house, was done by a company called Artisan Construction in conjunction with Ferndale Institution and volunteers from the community.

Antonson said they have agreements in place for donated labour worth $250,000 from the Masonry Institute of BC, while the Mission School District and Riverside School will provide apprenticeship opportunities for students.

The Clayburn brick factory, which has discontinued manufacturing the bricks involved in so many buildings in the Fraser Valley, has donated $30,000 worth of leftover bricks.

And Mission will donate 300 cubic metres from its forests for the wood materials.

Antonson said every little bit helps, and they’re hoping to get the concrete donated as well. Individuals can donate to the cause by buying bricks for the building, with each donor’s name going to a plaque. There are corner bricks at $100 each, ordinary bricks for $25, and facing bricks which are $10.

As for the legacy portion of the project, Antonson said that in 2008 when the community put together the bid for the 2014 Winter Games, a commitment was made to holding the opening and closing ceremonies there.

“That’s top of my mind again, you’ve got to have washrooms for those people,” he said.

Council agreed to the idea in principle, which allows the association to move forward with a business proposal.

The district, council and Mission Heritage Association will meet July 5 to discuss funding availability with a final decision promised by Aug. 1 in order to take advantage of a $115,000 sponsorship opportunity.

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