Submitted by McBride Museum Board

Renovations at McBride Museum
Renovations at McBride Museum
Submitted photo

Anyone who has done major renovations in their own home can tell you that progress is never as swift as you would like it to be.

Turning the bare commercial garage at 521 Main Street into a vibrant, interactive museum has been an exciting endeavor, if not always as fast as we would desire

Delays in progress have been the result of Regional District waiting for a major grant and ensuring that all safety precautions have been met so that when the public does go in the building, it is as safe as it possibly can be.

Grants to purchase the building at 521 Main Street were not available. However, the museum was eligible for a number of grants related to renovation of the space for museum operations. This minimized the cost to taxpayers for renovations to the museum space and the museum board’s priority became obtaining funds to renovate the space. The process of grant writing is a long, arduous journey in itself, but there was no way for the museum to truly open and function as a museum without considerable help.

Our grant writer was able to find several granting agencies that were able to see the potential of what we were doing and where we were going … and were willing to put their money on the line to help us get there! Grants were awarded to a combined total of over $350,000 to help the dream become reality. To date, the project has cost a little over $239,000, of which 78% has been spent locally – that’s $186,000 that wasn’t in this community before museum renovations started!

 All of our contractors, which were local, have been amazing and have been able to turn a constantly changing vision into a beautiful, functional space. They have seen ways to improve our design and haven’t been shy to share those ideas.

One of those changes was replacing the C-Can by enclosing part of the pole barn covering it. Replacing the C-Can with a closed-in section of the building was more cost effective in both the short and long term as well as providing more storage space. Within the last month volunteers have built shelving along the walls, readying the space for the artifacts to move into their “forever” home.

The board and our contractors are thrilled with how this project has developed and are excited to share it with the community. Although we hope to start moving in as soon as possible, we anticipate it will be spring before we can have our grand opening.