Jan 09, 2020
Machine Shop improvements to date include new insulated roof, foundation work
The Machine Shop improvements are progressing at a steady pace now into the New Year and some of the more recent accomplishments of the revitalization project include the installation of a new roof and other important structural upgrades to the building.
The Town received federal Gas Tax funding for $1.8-million in March 2018 to make code, seismic and structural upgrades to the Comox Logging and Railway Shops Building, also known as the Machine Shop.
The historic building is also a key centrepiece in the design for the Arts and Heritage Hub - a multi-phased plan to create several new cultural amenities - and overall implementation of the Waterfront Area Plan and Ladysmith Economic Development Strategy.
In the early fall, the old roof and underlying material were completely removed. The deteriorating covering had been partially damaged in the December 2018 windstorm and temporarily repaired by the Town.
Next came the necessary structural upgrades to the roof support beams before new plywood, a five-inch insulation and torch-on membrane were added as well as new flashing.
A roof hatch was also included in the design to allow for easier access from interior second floor mechanical room.
New eaves and gutters were then put up on the east side of the building - protecting visitors to the Machine Shop from rainfall runoff.
These roof improvements to properly insulate the Machine Shop for the benefit of both current tenants and any new future uses were all part of the original project scope.
At the ground level, the foundation work has turned up a few unexpected challenges due to the severe deterioration in several areas.
The Town continues to review this scope of the project and prioritized the necessary structural and code upgrades to stay within budget and reopen the building to the public. These improvements also include rebuilding the staircase to the Waterfront Gallery with a wider landing area.
During the renovations, the Town is keeping Machine Shop tenants informed of the renovation timeline and project achievements through regular updates.
The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District continues to operate the Waterfront Gallery from the temporary quarters of the Ecole Davis Road School as part of an agreement negotiated between the Town and the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools.
The Ladysmith Maritime Society museum was closed for the summer during renovations but LMS offices in the Machine Shop have stayed open, with the option to move to the marina offices if needed.
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