AlgomaTrad Centre Infrastructure Update, September 2022

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AlgomaTrad’s Artistic Directors Julie Schryer and Patrick O’Gorman, together with the fabulous Infrastructure Committee (made up of volunteers from business, engineering, and project management fields) and the wonderful AlgomaTrad Board of Directors, continue to push the AlgomaTrad Centre Infrastructure project to reality. Briefly, here are some of the highlights since our last update in November of 2021.

The Design process for the renovation of the Main Hall, including upgrades of the structure, washrooms, kitchen, mezzanine and upstairs, has consisted of bi-weekly meetings since November 2021 and several studies for design options with contracted architectural/engineering firm IDEA to tranform this building into a 4-season flexible space that can serve the AlgomaTrad’s needs.

  • An engineering review by Tulloch Engineering determined that the structure needed upgrading to meet current building codes and Sam Speer of Handcrafted Timber Homes, who built the timberframe structure for the Pavilion, was awarded the tender to complete the structural work, which includes adding timber cross ties and metal rod connectors to the rafters and reconstructing the Mezzanine and interior stairway from the second floor. Work begins in September.
  • IDEA will be presenting the final design package mid-September for the rest of the Main Hall project, including upgrading the washrooms, adding a hallway from the dining hall to the washrooms, closing in the stairway to the second floor, revamp the mechanical and electrical service throughout the building, roughing in the kitchen design and second floor upgrades, and preparing the building for future insulation. This package will then go to tender with work planned for this fall and winter.
  • Septic design will be finalized soon and construction will begin in the fall/winter.
  • Design and tender of the exterior insulation and replacement of doors and windows are also slated to occur this fall.

A Design Brief and Request for Proposals is in the works for Dan’s Hall, AlgomaTrad’s signature 4-season performance/dance/studio building. Funding is still in the process of being secured for this project, with the goal of having shovels in the ground by spring/summer of 2023.

AlgomaTrad hired Wild Craft Permaculture of United Designers International to aid in the permaculture design process, which involved many discussions, answering lots of questions, walking the land,  generating a map for the AlgomaTrad Centre site, and creating a design report which will be available to the public soon. These will help provide guidance for AlgomaTrad’s developments and programming with respectful connection to the land and water. In the spring of 2022, two thousand more trees were planted on the grounds of the Centre by local forestry company Regen, for the continuation of the 50 Million Trees program administered by Forests Ontario.

Other projects occurring presently at the site are:

  • Completion of  two 16×16 workshop/programming gazebos and one single room cabin, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Commumities Program. One of the gazebos was used during the Family Camp this year.
  • Completion of a 16×24 timber frame workshop pavilion, funded by the Government of Canada through a Canadian Heritage Safe Re-Opening fund grant. This structure features once again the timber smith craftmanship of Sam Speer, Handcrafted Timber Homes.

Stay tuned for some major funding announcements of $1.5 Million dollars – it’s hush hush for now but we’ll let you know as soon as we are given the go-ahead!