The City of Pitt Meadows is relocating Pitt Meadows Art Gallery (PMAG) to the South Bonson Community Centre (SBCC).
The information about relocation was shared during the council meeting on Tuesday, where members of the public shared their feedback on the proposal.
After the announcement of an autonomous RCMP Detachment for Pitt Meadows in March 2021, the location of Pitt Meadows Art Gallery was chosen as the preferred site for the police facility.
In response, city staff started considering options for relocation of the gallery and by June 2022, the Civic Centre was proposed and unanimously agreed upon as the future temporary location with an approved budget of $323k. The gallery would be in the Civic Centre for five years.
By late 2022, the city started the process to receive construction bids for the project.
However, by January 2023, the city only received two bids for construction and design with an estimated cost increase of three times the original budget.
According to the staff evaluation, the increase could be attributed to a rise in construction costs, lack of competitiveness in the market and subsurface soil conditions, among other factors.
The city is also undertaking a scoping project for the Civic Centre to better utilize the land and therefore doesn’t recommend the relocation of the gallery to the area.
Through evaluation, the staff report suggests that relocation to SBCC Activity Room 1 can be done within the provided budget.
The city has stated many reasons that make this relocation suitable some of them are:
- Integration into a well-used city facility
- Active transportation visibility
- Supports the recommendation within the PRC Master Plan to develop a hub for art program
- Outdoor plaza can be utilized for exhibitions
- Due to Open Art Studio, artists are familiar with the space
- Proximity to amenities would allow for a larger demographic to visit the gallery
- Proximity to businesses can result in economic growth
During the council meeting, artists and residents of Pitt Meadows, Linda Nelson and Laura Stark extended their support for the relocation.
The city is set to develop a marketing plan to increase awareness about the relocation of the facility as well as gallery events.
A year after the relocation, a review will be conducted to determine whether SBCC is a viable option for the gallery.
The art gallery first opened its doors in 2017.