History may have a new home in Port Coquitlam.
PoCo Heritage and Cultural Society could soon be operating a museum at the former 10,000 Villages retail space on McAllister Avenue, next to city hall. A partnership agreement is currently being developed between the society and the city, which owns the 900 sq. ft. building attached to the Leigh Square complex.
Larry Wheeler, the city's deputy director of parks and recreation, said the city has included $49,000 in its 2012 capital budget for the project. If the financial plan is approved, the money will be used to make some building modifications to accommodate a museum.
"Yes, they will be using the old 10,000 Villages space," Wheeler said. "[It] will be integrated with the existing archive space for a total of 1,820 sq. ft."
Last February, the city confirmed that 10,000 Villages, a fair-trade retailer, would not be renewing its lease. After the property was vacated, members of the heritage society approached the city about using the location for a museum.
For several years, the organization has been looking for an opportunity to house all of its photos and artifacts under one roof. Currently, its displays can be seen next to the community police station on Mary Hill Road, at the archives at Leigh Square and in the lobby of city hall.
But Steve Smith, a director with the society, said he would not comment on the museum plans until an agreement with the city is finalized.
"We are still in the final stage of the agreement," he said. "I would prefer to wait until that is done before we go public."