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Calgary’s Telus World of Science plans new $160-million facility

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by Richard Gilbert last update:Mar 5, 2009

The Telus World of Science in Calgary will build a new $160 million dollar facility because the existing centre is too small.
Calgary’s Telus World of Science plans new $160-million facility

The Telus World of Science in Calgary will build a new $160 million dollar facility because the existing centre is too small.

The Telus World of Science and Creative Kids Museum on the western edge of downtown Calgary can’t accommodate the growing numbers of visitors.

Attendance has more than doubled to 304,000 visitors annually in the past decade.

With growth expected to continue, construction of a new 130,000 square foot facility is in the early stages.

Cohos Evamy is doing the design work.

“We are in the design development stage, which is coming to a conclusion and going into the construction drawing stages,” said Barry Crean, project director at the Telus World of Science.

“This will be let to the market in a series of tender packages. The first one will be stripping and grading the site. We are aiming to be in the ground in April.”

Crean said the start time is dependent on all the grants that will finance construction of the project and an environmental assessment.

The City of Calgary has committed $20 million in land and another $20 million in cash.

The provincial and federal governments are providing $40 million each.

The remaining $40 million will be raised from corporate and private donors.

“We are looking at $30 million being spent during the course of construction, which should be completed by September 2011, but we hope to take occupation in June,” said Crean.

“It is estimated that there will be the equivalent of 124 person years of employment in professional services and 325 man years of construction work. There will be 250 workers on the site at the peak of construction.”

The site selection process began with 80 potential locations, but the choices were narrowed down to 22 possibilities.

A detailed analysis was performed on five possible sites.

“A city owned property north of the zoo was selected because it was closer to the city, transit, the zoo and the people who would use the facility,” Crean explained.

“This location also creates partnership opportunities with the zoo.”

The Calgary Zoo and the new Telus World of Science plan to share parking, use joint marketing, ticketing, maintenance and exhibit buildings.

The science centre’s brownfield site will also be considered part of the learning experience for students.

Crean said they are aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification, but they would like to get LEED Gold.

“It may not be possible because of the brownfield condition of the site, but it will be close,” he said.

“This was a former landfill, which received construction waste such as drywall, wood and steel, which does not create methane. But, a portion of the zoo is on household waste that generates methane. We will have an active mitigation system under the building just in case.”

The new centre should host up to 500,000 visitors a year. It will also contribute to the Rivers project in central Calgary, which is highlighting the reclamation and greening of previously unusable sites.

last update:Mar 5, 2009

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