Years of work and funding from the provincial and federal governments have culminated in a brand-new community gathering space in Coldstream, complete with a childcare centre that will be opening in a matter of days.
Members of the public, local politicians and Coldstream staff gathered at 9909 Kalamalka Road Friday, May 26, for the grand opening of the Coldstream Community Hall, which stands at the former site of the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall.
While the Women’s Institute Hall was an essential community hub since 1933, the new hall is a more modern, functional space that offers triple the capacity.
The $6.9 million project came in on budget, said Coldstream Chief Administrative Officer Trevor Seibel. The entire building is just over 14,000 square feet, including an 8,500 square-foot main hall.
The attached childcare centre has 84 seats. It is operated by Maven Lane and will open June 1. The childcare centre features multiple rooms and a playground around back.
The hall can hold a maximum of 300 people for auditorium seating or 210 for seated events with tables such as weddings. The hall also has a commercial kitchen that can be utilized for events.
Upon entering the building, guests walk through an entryway hall that contains historical artifacts from the Women’s Institute Hall, which was demolished to make way for the project. A TV in the entryway hall shows images of the Women’s Institute Hall, as well as the construction progression on the new hall that has replaced it.
At the rear of the hall, large doors open up to allow access to Cenotaph Park — a feature that is ideal for wedding photos.
“This building is fabulous, there’s no question about it, said Coldstream Mayor Ruth Hoyte, who thanked the members on the previous council term — specifically Glen Taylor and Richard Enns — who were instrumental in bringing the project together.
“I can see all kinds of rock and roll and dances, community events happening here,” Hoyte said.
As for the child care centre, which was already fully loaded with toys, Hoyte said: “It made me want to turn into a kid and play with all kinds of toys again.”
A few weddings and celebrations of life have already been booked at the hall, with the first one to take place in July. Seibel says the space could also be used for birthday parties, conferences, meetings and other uses.
Seibel added that depending on the type of event, the hall could be rented for a full day for about $1,100.
“It’s incredible. I was involved with the original acquisition of the Women’s Institute Hall … was heavily involved with the planning process with council that lead to this project and going for the grants, and so to see it all come to fruition is pretty cool,” Seibel said.
Local musicians were playing live music at the ribbon cutting event. Seibel mentioned the acoustics of the building were finely tuned, making the space suitable for all kinds of musical events.
Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu thanked Hoyte, Coldstream council, the construction workers, contractors and suppliers for their contributions to the project.
“This will bring the community closer,” Sandhu said.
The federal and provincial governments provided over 80 per cent of the funding for the project. $448,000 came from the Canada Community Building Fund, just over $2 million came from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and $3 million was provided through the ChildCare BC New Spaces Fund.
Sahuri and Associates designed the facility, construction was done by Sawchuk Developments Co. Ltd, and Tolko Industries supplied timber and wood products.