Arts and heritage on the move in Port Moody this weekend
Two century-old Port Moody buildings will be brought together starting today, Friday, for the future enjoyment of artists, patrons and the public.
This morning, beginning at about 11 a.m. the Centennial House/Appleyard Residence will be put on wheels to be rolled down Kyle Street where it will sit next to the Port Moody Centre. The process is expected to take two to three days, with most of the move taking place on Saturday.
To accommodate the work, Kyle Street between St. Johns and St. George Street will be closed for up to three days.
The work by Pridy Bros. is the culmination of months of planning for Bruce Campbell, executive director of the Port Moody Arts Centre.
Campbell said he is looking forward to the relocation of the 1910-era Centennial House/Appleyard Residence next to the arts centre, formerly PoMo's city hall, which was built in 1914.
Once the two buildings are situated side by side, construction will begin on new studios, gallery space and a glass atrium, creating functional space that will help grow and expand PoMo’s cultural scene.
SIDE BY SIDE
"It just kind of galvanized a lot of energy,” Campbell said said of the project to vastly increase the art centre's gallery space, create a larger display area for the Blackberry Gallery artists co-op, add three new studios and build a gallery that will lend itself well to functions and special events.
Original plans called for leaving the building at its current location at 126 Kyle St. and renovating it but having the two heritage buildings side by side made a lot more sense. The federal government has contributed $500,785 toward the project, with the city and the Port Moody Arts Centre society matching the grant.
Campbell said his group has already generated a significant portion of its $200,000 share, with matching $30,000 grants from Suncor and CP Rail, and the recent Art4U fundraiser, which raised about $25,000 but needs to come up more than $100,000 to finish off the renovations.
He hopes the expanded space will help the society grow its volunteer base, enabling it to host fundraisers, and is working on an initiative he calls “intellectual philanthropy.” In addition, the society is seeking a provincial contribution and is looking for donors to sponsor various aspects of the project.
Meanwhile, he has to deal with construction issues and the move — such as waiting for the weather to clear and Fortis to relocate a gas line.
The Appleyard building is in good shape, having been brought up to code by its former owners, but Campbell said care will have to be taken to protect the building’s heritage aspects, including original windows, and significant renovations are required to join the two buildings and create usable space.
As for the move, Pridy Bros. will tow the building down the hill on pallets affixed to “trucks” or wheels, where it will be pushed across large metal beams over a hole that has been dug for basement studios. Once the concrete has been poured and polished, the next stage will be construction, with the expanded facilities opened by this summer.