New Building Construction and Finished Photos
An underlying condition for becoming a truly prosperous Nation is through strong and healthy people: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. As a First Nations government, we recognize that we play a large role in creating the conditions for our people to make healthier choices by building vibrant communities and empowering them to achieve their best physical and mental health. We firmly believe that health and well-being starts where we live, work, learn, and play. To this end our people and leaders have been declaring the need for a central gathering place and recreational facility on Snuneymuxw land for over thirty years.
Through dedication and strong leadership, we can now proudly say that our dreams are becoming a reality. On June 20, 2014, we broke ground for our beautiful new building including a gymnasium – a moment that marked a true turning point toward a stronger future for our people (a video about the groundbreaking ceremony can be viewed at www.snuneymuxwbuilding.com/video).
The Snuneymuxw Community Building is located in the centre of our community on the shores of Vancouver Island. The building has been designed with input from Chief and Council and the community, and will be a safe, welcoming space that reflects Snuneymuxw culture and history. We also see this building as a catalyst for building deeper relationships and friendships with our neighbours. Since the arrival of the first settlers to our territory, our people have always opened their arms to the broader Nanaimo community and we are looking forward to sharing this space and to coming together to create a stronger community for all.
The design of the building includes a gymnasium, multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and a new space for our Tuytaxun General Store and comes with a multitude of benefits. With the appropriate space, our community will now be able to develop community-based physical activity, sport and recreational programming and there will be multiple opportunities tailored for all ages. In addition to the physical benefits, these types of programs are shown to build self-worth, self-esteem, respect and social skills, especially for youth. Additionally, by creating a space to gather, we will be able to further celebrate Snuneymuxw culture, tradition and ceremony.
The kitchen will allow for the provision of fresh and healthy meals for community events. The building also enhances our economic development by providing a new space for our only retail store, which serves as a steady source of income for our nation. The building will be further sustained through future rental income from the space above the store, which can be used as a common area for larger gatherings and/or office space. Lastly, renting out our commercial kitchen and the gym for events will also help pay for building operations into the future.
The first phase of preparatory work and the feasibility study to design and construct the building was completed in the fall of 2013. Earthwork began in early August 2014 and construction is scheduled to be complete in July 2015.
November: foundation work completed
Early 2015: framing and roof work starting
April 2015: interior work starting
July: building completed
Check back often for more photos