Breaking ground at White Point
Heavy equipment sounds were filling the air at White Point Beach Resort on April 12, as construction got underway for the new lodge. For those watching the rebuilding efforts, it truly was a “Great Day at White Point.”
White Point’s main lodge was lost in November 2011 to a devastating fire. After the fire though there was little question in owner Robert Risley’s mind about rebuilding. Work on a new design started shortly after, and the concept designs were released in February.
The lodge’s opening is planned for early November, in time to host part of Nova Scotia Music Week from Nov. 8-11.
“Like White Pointers and the community, we too have been anxiously awaiting this day,” says Risley.
While the actual construction began last week, Risley says that there has been a tremendous amount of work completed by both his Management Team and the Design Team to get them to this point.
“Drawing inspiration from our rich tradition, history and connection to our beachside location, Design 360 has created a design that captures the essence of White Point, we can’t wait to see come to life” says Risley.
Melissa Cummings of Design 360 says they spent a great deal of time reflecting on the textures, feel and tone of the old Main Lodge to ensure the new lodge interiors would be familiar to White Pointers while welcoming to new guests.
“We’ve incorporated natural and reclaimed materials where possible, from the exposed wood to the stone fireplaces, the design is very reminiscent of the old lodge” says Cummings.
Peter Cox, senior project manager with Lindsay Construction, says it will be a challenging project compared to others.
“It’s an aggressive schedule to be done by November, no question,” he says.
Like much of Nova Scotia, many rocks lie just below the surface no matter where you dig. The old lodge’s check-in desk sat on top of a rock about the size of a midsized car. Work this week will concentrate on leveling the ground to prepare for the foundation. The excess fill won’t have far to travel though. It is being used to create more parking spaces in other areas of the resort.
The design of the lodge was purposefully done to keep the feel of White Point, and make sure it fits in with the resort. The lodge will be built with a half log design, as well as vertical board siding inside.
One of the unique features of the old lodge will return as well. The beach stone fireplaces were a mainstay of the reception area, and were one of the only things left standing after the fire. The original rocks were auctioned off earlier this year to raise money for the Liverpool Fire Department.
Two new beach stone fireplaces will be part of the lodge, one completely exposed for 20 feet going up the wall. Unlike brick, which are uniform in size and easily stacked, beach stones come in all different shapes and sizes. Even a pallet of stone creates challenges, since it is more difficult to transport the uneven shapes.
“It’s a bit of a lost art to set that and make it look proper,” he says.
However he says they want it to be a great looking piece when finished.
The contractors also have to contend with the fact the design hasn’t been finalized. Though the concepts were presented in February, the finer details like wiring, and plumbing, are still being worked on.
So with this many challenges, how does he plan on getting it built in time?
“Keep your fingers crossed,” he jokes.
What it really takes, he says, is getting good people on the site that know how to push a schedule, and be upfront with sub-trades about the timeline they need for the project.
Lindsay Construction is a Nova Scotia based company that works throughout the Maritimes. The company began in 1959, and according to their website have done over 4,000 major projects since their inception.
The company has done a wide variety of projects, from schools and recreation facilities to restaurants and hotels.
Construction of the new lodge can be seen live via the webcam on www.novascotiaweb cams.com, while more photos of the interiors and a virtual tour of the new design can be viewed from the Resorts website at www.whitepoint.com
During the construction period, with the exception of the 13 Vacation Homes and Cottages and the Golf Course which are now open, White Point is closed with plans to reopen for year-round operation by November 2012.
Construction of the new lodge at White Point Beach Resort began last week, a much anticipated event by staff and fans of the resort. This rock sat under the reception desk of the lodge.
A concept design of the new interior or the lodge.
The concept drawing of the main entrance of the lodge.