The Pitt Meadows Art Gallery will have a new home near city hall. (The News files)

The Pitt Meadows Art Gallery will have a new home near city hall. (The News files)

Pitt Meadows Art Gallery to be moved into civic centre

Council also decides on gender neutral washroom in Harris Road Park

City council approved moving the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery to the civic centre area, a site which also houses City Hall, the Family Recreation Centre and the Community Police Office.

The gallery could eventually be moved into the space occupied by the Community Police Office (CPO), once the officers have moved into the new detachment building in the process of being designed and built. The art gallery must be moved to make way for the construction of the city’s new RCMP detachment building the site at Harris Road, so the arts community and police officers may essentially be switching locations – albeit in different facilities.

The pre-fabricated building that is used for the art gallery now will be moved to a lot near the civic centre. Staff told council it would cost $777,000 to move the building, and eventually create a new art gallery in the CPO.

There is also an annex building that could be used at the civic centre, but city staff don’t recommend using it, because the building is nearing the end of its life, and available space is smaller than the existing art gallery.

Staff had recommended building a new art gallery at a proposed heritage site, which will include the Pitt Meadows Museum and Hoffmann’s Garage. That site east of Hoffman Park, which includes the current Hoffman’s Garage property, will be re-developed with the construction of the CP Rail underpass.

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However, city councillors chose the civic centre because it has better parking, more foot traffic, and better visibility.

Coun. Tracy Miyashita said there is a lot of potential synergy there, and she has heard from artists that they prefer to be there.

Coun. Bob Meachen agreed, noting there were good crowds at the civic centre for the new farmer’s market.

Coun. Bill Dingwall said a new arts building would not fit with the heritage site, there would not be adequate parking, and there would not be enough pedestrian traffic and public visibility for the facility.

City staff will bring back new recommendations where it should be located in the civic centre.

• Councillors also approved a new washblock with a gender neutral washroom design and concession at Harris Road Park.. They asked staff to proceed with a detailed design, and approved $1.8 million for the washblock project, to be funded from the city reserves.

The washrooms will feature floor-to-ceiling doors for privacy, and could double as changerooms.

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Arts and cultureCity HallPitt Meadows