Tyrrell $9 mil­lion ex­pan­sion breaks ground in new year

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum will have a new look in the near fu­ture and are hop­ing to break ground on its ex­pan­sion in 2017.

The Mail re­ported in April of this year that just over $9 mil­lion over the next two years has been ap­proved for its ex­pan­sion. Ac­cord­ing to Aileen Machell, press sec­re­tary for the Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture, it is not far off.

“The de­sign, de­vel­oped by the Al­berta govern­ment, Kasian Ar­chi­tec­ture, and the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum of Palaeon­tol­ogy, is be­ing fi­nal­ized and in­cludes en­ergy ef­fi­cient as­pects to en­sure the build­ing meets govern­ment’s Cli­mate Lead­er­ship di­rec­tion,” she states via email. “We ex­pect the project to go to ten­der in the new year and an­tic­i­pate shov­els in the ground dur­ing the sum­mer months.”

The ex­pan­sion will be in the area of 1,100 cu­bic me­tres and will see the ex­pan­sion of the Dis­tance Learn­ing Stu­dio and ad­di­tional class­room and lab­o­ra­tory space, a mul­tipur­pose room for pro­gram­ming and con­fer­ences, ex­pan­sion of ac­ces­si­ble wash­room fa­cil­i­ties, a hands-on dis­cov­ery room and a fam­ily rest area.

“Mu­se­ums around the world are see­ing a fun­da­men­tal shift in how au­di­ences in­ter­act with their spa­ces. It is no longer only about what they get to see but rather what they get to do, ex­pe­ri­ence, and share. Through the ex­pan­sion, the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum hopes to ex­ceed th­ese grow­ing needs and find new ways for vis­i­tors to en­gage with Al­berta’s palaeon­to­log­i­cal past,” she states in the e-mail.

She says the govern­ment

rec­og­nizes the Tyrrell is at ca­pac­ity and in its more than 30 year his­tory has it seen one ex­pan­sion. This is a way to en­hance the visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ence.

This comes at a time to help build the econ­omy.

“It is im­por­tant that govern­ment con­tin­ues to in­vest sig­nif­i­cantly to en­hance the prov­ince’s in­fra­struc­ture. When we build, re­new, man­age and main­tain our in­fra­struc­ture, she states, “the econ­omy gets a needed boost, and we help keep peo­ple work­ing. This project will also help di­ver­sify our econ­omy by grow­ing the tourism sec­tor.”

Cur­rently the Mu­seum em­ploys about 36 full-time staff, and the project will cre­ate con­struc­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Con­tin­ued in­vest­ment into in­fra­struc­ture is the key driver to pro­mot­ing eco­nomic growth, job cre­ation and pro­duc­tiv­ity. Dur­ing con­struc­tion, cap­i­tal projects di­rectly em­ploy ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, and skilled trades peo­ple. In ad­di­tion, com­pa­nies, from in­dus­try re­lated man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers to heavy-duty cloth­ing and safety gear re­tail­ers down to the lo­cal cof­fee shops, ben­e­fit from the eco­nomic spinoff projects gen­er­ate.”

The project is ex­pected to be com­plete come 2019.

Plans are un­der­way for a $9.3 mil­lion ex­pan­sion to the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum and they are look­ing to break ground in the new year.

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