Proposed changes to the 100 Mile Community Hall were the topic of conversation at the April 27 Coffee with Council.
With the preliminary work leading the district to make the decision to take over the hall, Mayor Maureen Pinkney said consultation with the public was the next step in the renovation process.
“With the District now in ownership of the hall we need to repair and upgrade many of the mechanics, from plumbing and heating to improving accessibility,” Pinkney said previously. “This is our one and only community hall in town and so it is special and we need it to be upgraded for many more events than it currently gets used for, increasing its use as a great economic and social asset.”
Conceptual drawings were created in order to give the District a dollar value to use in their decision-making process on whether or not to take over the hall. When they submitted the proposal to the architect they did not ask for removal of the murals in the exterior design, said Pinkney. This was the concept the architect came up with.
“We did not have any input in what the drawings looked like,” said Pinkney.
Views expressed at the meeting ranged from those who felt the exterior of the building is part of the District’s heritage and should not be touched to those who said it’s time to modernize the look.
“This is partly why we’re here,” Pinkney said. “There are other locations for the murals, but if this is the best place for them then we want them to stay here.”
She noted that the families are aware of the possibility of the murals being moved, and that they are not entirely in favour of the idea.
“Not happy if it does happen,” said Ken Marks, son of Ross Marks, one of the District’s founders who is featured in one of the murals. “This really is the ideal spot.”
Even if another appropriate spot could be found for the painting to be moved to, Marks questions what guarantees will be made for the mural’s safety if down the road the new building changes hands.
“At least where it is now — well, we thought it was a pretty good guarantee that it would stay until such time it got to a point where, with any mural, it needed to be repainted.”
The previous council did have input on the interior design of the hall, such as a commercial kitchen, seating numbers, washrooms, and a movable stage. “Between moving back and forth between about five different blueprints and keeping money in the back of our brain as well, that is the concept the previous council did come to think was the best floor plan,” Pinkney said.
She emphasized that nothing has been decided at this point and they are still gathering information. As part of this process, the District will now be putting together a survey asking people to get involved and offer feedback on what they believe will make the best hall for the community.