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Plan developed for telling city's 'story'

A report coming to New Westminster city council includes a coupe of images of what the New Westminster Museum and Archives display might look like when it opens in the new Downtown civic centre. - City of New Westminster
A report coming to New Westminster city council includes a coupe of images of what the New Westminster Museum and Archives display might look like when it opens in the new Downtown civic centre.
— image credit: City of New Westminster

A plan has been developed for telling New Westminster’s “story” at the city’s Downtown civic centre when it’s completed.

New Westminster Museum and Archives staff along with Public Architecture and Communication, consultants hired by the city in April 2011, are proposing the story be told chronologically with a series of galleries. Each will deal with a particular period in the city’s history, said a report going before council on Monday.

It would include:

• From 8,000 BC until the initial European contact is made.

• The gold rush and the founding of New Westminster by the Royal Engineers, along with the history of the May Day celebrations and railway.

• The Great Fire of 1898.

• Transportation, including a wooden model of the Pattullo Bridge.

• Post war boom up to Expo 86.

• The city’s contemporary history, which will be a flexible display space for exhibits exploring current issues in New Westminster.

So far preliminary work has been done on floor plans and the use of the interior space. The next two phases are already underway. One is turning the concepts into actual designs, budgets and timelines, while the other is preparing specifications for the work to go to tender.

The civic centre will also have other areas that will help the museum in addition to the permanent exhibit space including a temporary gallery, a workshop, storage, and administration.

Public Architecture was given a preliminary budget of $120 per square foot, which works out to about $570,000 for the 4,753-square-foot space. Project managers for the Multi-Use Civic Facility (MUCF) recently came up with an estimate for the museum interior fit-out.

“Based on the recent cost estimates, the allowance in the MUCF project budget for the museum fit-out can be revised to closer to $500,000 (plus a modest contingency amount) and can be accommodated within the overall project budget. Final costs will be known once the works are tendered through competitive bid,” said a city staff report that recommended council adopt the permanent exhibit design plan.

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