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A new Energy Interpretive Centre is closer to reality in the Energetic City.

The proposed 6000 square foot building will display Fort St. John’s oil and gas history, with opportunities to showcase alternative forms of energy in the area.

Planners from the AldrichPears Associate Economic Planning Group presented a Concept and Business Planning Study at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday afternoon.

The projected $6.8 million building is anticipated to sit on an estimated one-acre property, and will be the new home of the Visitor Information Centre.

Creative Director Jan Sircus says there are numerous properties in the city that are suitable for the new Centre. Sircus presented four prime locations to Council; but, he says the preferred lot would be owned by the City. However, none of the outlined areas are municipally owned.

There are seven sections planned for the new building, including a café/lounge, Theatre and Interactive exhibits.

Sircus says the plan also includes an interactive Centre just for kids.

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Sircus says designers wanted to create a building that would make a lasting impression on visitors. He says people who are unfamiliar with Fort St. John could simply search online for local information. So, he says planners needed to think of a creative way to enhance the visitor’s experience.

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Now, the proposed building isn’t expected to be fully funded by the City. In the projected revenue section of the study, consultants say there is a possibility that the building could qualify for grants on the regional, provincial and federal level.

Councilor Dan Davies says he thinks the new building will put Fort St. John on the map.

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Councilor Larry Evans says he enjoys the fact that the new Centre will showcase the region’s rich history.

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The facility was first proposed in late 2006, and a promotional video and report was prepared in mid 2007.

Now, the Energy Interpretation and Visitor Centre project will be included in the 2010 budgetary discussions.

Click on the attachment below to see the entire presentation on the Energy Interpretive Centre. The presentation includes sketches, financial information and building details. 

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