of The Clarion
The Norman Ritchie Community Centre is getting much needed attention, and a spokesperson for the ongoing upgrades says several projects have been completed.
“We’ve hit some milestones,” said Lorne Kelsey, a representative of NRC Management Inc. and a supervisor of construction for the upgrades. “First of all, we kind of completed the roof and that was the first major project that kind of saved the building.”
Kelsey, who has a background in contracting and building, said the finishing touches were made on the roof project near the end of May. The repaired roof is protecting the centre from the elements, so it is the main piece of the puzzle to help preserve the building for years to come, he said.
The next stage of the project was to upgrade the building’s heating system, and also to add a cooling system. The building’s old furnaces were 30 years old and they have been replaced with new energy efficient furnaces.
A new air conditioning system has been installed and Kelsey said the entire building is cooled by the new system. He said it will create a more comfortable environment for concerts and events in the late spring, summer and early fall.
The ability to provide a climate controlled facility is one of the major milestones of the project, the construction supervisor said. One of the goals for the centre’s management board is for the building to be rented for weddings or other private events, so air conditioning is an important addition, he explained.
Another upgrade to the inside of the building is new LED lighting in the auditorium and on stage. The old lighting could only be turned on or off, but the new LED lighting has a dimmer system to have various levels of lighting, Kelsey said.
Another project is more noticeable.For more on this story, please see the August 2 print edition of The Clarion.
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