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Construction starts this summer on Royal BC Museum’s new $270M Colwood building

Construction on the building is set to finish in summer 2026
Construction on the Royal BC Museum’s new collections and research buiulding is set to start this summer in Colwood, with a construction contract recently awarded by the province. (Black Press Media file photo)

Construction on the Royal BC Museum’s new collections and research building is set to start this summer in Colwood, with the province recently awarding the $204.8 million construction contract.

Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. won the contract for the design and construction of the building, following a competitive design-build procurement process, the province announced in a news release Thursday (Feb. 23). Total capital costs for the project are valued at more than $270 million.

The total project cost has increased by $45.6 million from the June 2021 budget, due to increased construction costs, global inflation, and the overall extended project schedule, according to a backgrounder published with the news release.

“Our government is committed to protecting our province’s history today and for future generations,” said Lana Popham, minister of tourism, arts, culture, and sport. “I am confident that this is the right step to take in securing our province’s invaluable history and ensuring more access for people. We look forward to working with Maple Reinders, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, and the City of Colwood on this historic new building.”

The 15,200-square-metre building will be constructed of mass timber and will house the provinces archive and research departments, as well as parts of the museum’s collection not on display. It will also feature research labs and learning spaces to help improve access to the collections, of which less than one per cent is currently publicly accessible.

The new building will also help better protect the collection, as some of its archival books, rare art, and early maps are at risk of flood damage currently.

“Alongside the safe and modern storage of the collections and provincial records, the CRB will be a dynamic and welcoming community space,” said Alicia Dubois, CEO, Royal BC Museum. “We are thrilled with the design Maple Reinders has proposed and the alignment of our organizational values. We hope to inspire future paleontologists, entomologists, botanists and historians through greater learning opportunities by enhancing public access to our work.”

With ground breaking on the new facility set for summer, the province currently estimates it will open to the public in summer 2026.

READ MORE: Province cancels controversial $789M Royal BC Museum rebuild

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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