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Posted: August 29, 2018

Radium hall opening shows the wonders of wood

By Anne Jardine

At the grand opening of Radium Hot Spring’s new Community Hall and Library on Saturday, August 25, the Village of Radium, the Columbia Basin Trust, CANFOR, Radium Rotary, the family of a major donor Arnie Charbonneau, and the architect had many reasons to be proud. The project came in on time and on budget.

Radium villagers and visitors came out by the hundreds to feast their eyes on the impressive building.

All the major contributors shared their excitement in short messages of welcome. Everyone mingled and ate cake and other sumptuous snacks and toured through the new facility.

Mayor Clara Reinhardt greeted the gathering and touched on one of her greatest points of pride: “The hall is made of wood sourced locally, and built by local contractors and labour. Our new hall shows off the talents and products of our local woodworking community. The project was sponsored by the Radium CANFOR sawmill as an example of the innovative products that can be created from its timber.”

Arne Dohlen, Director of Planning & Development Services for the Village of Radium stated: “Our use of wood design helps the interior beauty of this unique building really stand out. The project has revitalized our community meeting space and turned this community hall into a centerpiece project for the municipality. We’ve had tremendous buy-in from the residents of Radium as well as from our wood suppliers who came together on this.”

The building’s principal architect Shelley Craig of Urban Arts Architecture is pleased with the outcome of her design and the potential of wood as a versatile and beautiful material to create functional spaces. Her brief speech thanked the Village and everyone involved for the opportunity to bring their dream to life.

“Columbia Basin Trust has helped develop many projects all around the region,” said Community Liaison Officer Lynda Lafleur. “It was a genuine pleasure to work with this council and this dedicated building committee. From the very beginning they were enthusiastic and positive. They got along and worked well together.”

Village of Radium Chief Administrative Officer Mark Read observed, “This has been five years from inception to completion. I think everyone can agree that the time and money have been well spent. I am proud of what has been done here and proud to have been a part of it.”

The Library is an important part of the facility. It has been up and operating for a few weeks already, busy and lively. The wood shelving units are designed so they can be rolled off to the sides to make way for a guest speaker or other function. The bright, inviting reception space has a display/demonstration area for arts and sciences.

The kitchen is the only area that is not dominated by wood’s character. It is all shiny stainless steel surfaces. It is not the cozy kitchen of the old Senior’s Hall that it has replaced, but the Radium Seniors are fine with that. They like the space, and they love all the new conveniences it will bring to their work in hosting and catering functions.

The outdoor promenade is a circular swoop, lined with trees planted by the Radium Rotary, one for each member, connecting the hall to the park in which it has been built. The entire complex flows upon the landscape of Pothole Park with the kind of integrity that is the result of effective planning and design. The final details are not all seamlessly joined up yet, but the potential is evident.

This facility is exciting in its unfolding. Congratulations, Radium Hot Springs!

Lead image: From left: Lynda Lafleur of Columbia Basin Trust, Mayor Clara Reinhardt and Columbia River-Revesltoke MLA Doug Clovechok at the grand opening of the Radium Community Hall. Photos courtesy Anne Jardine


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