Tyrrell ex­pan­sion set for ten­der­ing

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The road to an ex­panded and im­proved Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum is get­ting closer.

The Mail re­ported in April of last year the Al­berta Govern­ment had bud­geted $9.3 mil­lion in 2017 and 18 for a ma­jor ex­pan­sion. In Jan­uary of this year, the fed­eral govern­ment an­nounced it would also con­trib­ute to the project.

The Mail learned this week that the project is weeks away from be­ing put out for ten­ders.

“Now that the de­sign phase is com­plete, the Govern­ment of Al­berta ex­pects to pub­licly ten­der the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum of Palaeon­tol­ogy fa­cil­ity ex­pan­sion project within the next few weeks,” said Tracy Larsen, com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer for Al­berta In­fra­struc­ture, in an e-mail.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Tyrrell Mu­seum An­drew Neu­man is ex­cited about the project.

This ex­pan­sion has been in the works since 2013. The project will add ap­prox­i­mately 1,100 square me­ters and will ex­pand the dis­tance learn­ing stu­dios, add class­room and lab space and mul­tipur­pose space.

“The down­stairs will be a com­bi­na­tion of ed­u­ca­tion space, and also space avail­able for con­fer­ences and spe­cial events and more up to date dis­tance learn­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” said Neu­man.

He adds the ex­pan­sion will make more space for lab work, one of its high­est de­mand pro­grams.

Neu­man says it brings many ben­e­fits to the mu­seum, not just for ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams but day-to-day op­er­a­tions. This in­cludes de­vel­op­ing a

hands on in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibit

“The new gallery will be like an in­ter­ac­tive space,” he ex­plains. “It won’t be like a clas­sic ex­hibit, but more like the Sci­ence hall we used to have at the front, but it will be way big­ger with a more mod­ern as­pect. We want it to cater to ev­ery­body, not just kids but multi-gen­er­a­tional families.”

The ex­pan­sion will also make the mu­seum more user­friendly.

“There is a high de­mand for im­prov­ing bath­room fa­cil­i­ties. There will also be a lit­tle place to have a cup of tea and take a break,” he said.

Once the ten­der­ing process is com­plete, work is ex­pected to be­gin right away.

“Once the con­trac­tor is se­cured, con­struc­tion will be­gin. We an­tic­i­pate shov­els will be in the ground be­gin­ning early this sum­mer. The con­struc­tion project is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2019,” said Larsen.

sub­mit­ted

An artist’s sketch of the pro­posed ex­pan­sion at the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum. It is ex­pected the project will be put our for ten­der in the next cou­ple of weeks.

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