The Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce has kicked off a fundraiser for its new building by announcing that Mercer Celgar has donated $500,000 toward the project for a high-tech board room.
“This is the opportunity for people to get their name on the building and be part of this legacy,” says chamber manager Tammy Verigin-Burk.
“[The Mercer donation] is incredibly exciting specifically for that part of the building because it will allow us to have a seamless operation where people will have meetings internationally and virtually in a way we haven’t been able to before.”
The entire building has a projected cost of $5.1 million. The chamber has about $1.5 million left to raise. They are hoping that a couple of grants will come through in the next few months, reducing that amount closer to $1 million.
“A lot of people have been very interested in being part of the building,” Verigin-Burk says. “For the last part of it, where people are allowed to donate, we’re excited to be able to offer that.
“This part of our fundraising is for everybody. If you have lived in Castlegar before, if you have a passion towards tourism and economic development. For any reason if you want to be part of this building, you’re welcome to.”
Every donation of $100 or more will be recognized on the building.
The chamber’s plans for a new building began when foundation issues were discovered with the present building. Engineers determined that it was not possible to repair the foundation or construct a new building on the same spot.
The plan that has been devised will see a 7,000 square foot building that is home to the Chamber of Commerce, Destination Castlegar, economic development office, West Kootenay Gateway Visitor Centre, and Community Futures. It will also have a co-working space and be available for community use.
Verigin-Burk says the building will be passive house certified. Most of it will use mass timber produced by Kalesnikoff Lumber.
Although the City of Castlegar provides the chamber with funding from business license fees to run the visitors centre, the new building is being fully paid for by the chamber through its own funds, as well as grants and donations.