Welcome to the first progress update on the Peachland Hub project. It has definitely been a busy six months for the hub volunteers since council first gave us support in principle for the project at their December 14, 2021 meeting. Council had asked us to prepare a business case and feasibility study for them to consider prior to any decision on whether the project could proceed or not.
So. we got to work!
First, we formed the Peachland Hub Society, with a steering committee that meets once per week to guide the effort. Then we formed sub-committees (operations, building, fundraising, marketing, and interim space) and we set to work collecting and agreeing upon the information needed for our business case document (we rolled both of council’s requests into a single document). Those efforts, and preparing the corresponding business case document, is what kept us all very busy through January, February and March. The completed document was submitted to staff for review in the first week of April and then shared with council at their April 19, 2022 meeting. At that meeting, council gave us the authorization to proceed with the project and a commitment to provide the facility to the groups on a long term lease for $1 per year.
An important item to note about the Peachland Hub project is that the project will not cost the District of Peachland (and therefore the taxpayers) any money. The district is contributing the existing 50+ Activity Centre building and additional land as needed between the 50+ building and the highway. The project is being entirely driven by the non-profit groups that will occupy the complex. This includes all designing, planning, construction, and most importantly, fundraising for the project.
As we did all of the work for the business case, it became clear that the only way the hub would ever get built is if we were successful in applying for a major government grant. The main one we identified is the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program at Infrastructure Canada. In order to be ready to apply for this grant, we were going to need to have some design, engineering and costing work done.
So that started the work for an RFP process to hire an architecture and engineering team and kicked off our start-up fundraising campaign to have the funds for the first ‘Schematic Design & Energy Study’ project. The RFP was issued on Apr. 11, and on the closing date of May 6 we received five proposals to consider. After interviewing three of the candidates, Urban Arts Architecture from Vancouver was chosen as the architects for the Peachland Hub project – many of you will have seen some of their work with the new library in Summerland.
The start-up fundraising campaign was intense and at times stressful as we knew that we had to raise enough money to pay for the first project before we could hire the architect team. We successfully raised $184,090 from 13 generous donors – including one exceptional donation from Emmanuel Althuis (Emmanuel has been a long-term volunteer driver with Peachland Wellness Centre) who made a stock donation with a value of about $130,000.
Because of this we were able to start our ‘Schematic Design & Energy Study’ project. The first step was a site visit by the architecture and engineering team, a vision workshop and a sustainability workshop which all happened on May 25 and 26. The next step will be a concept design review to be held with our design project committee on June 21. The big item will be the schematic design review sometime in July as we will be holding an open house for the public at the 50+ Activity Centre that evening to share our efforts to date.
So that brings us into our main fundraising campaign that will be multi-faceted and go on for a couple of years. We are preparing applications to family and corporate foundations across the country, and we are reaching out to community minded companies around the valley and the province. We are hoping that all Peachlanders will recognize that Peachland’s community non-profit groups need a new and permanent home, and that they will consider making a donation in support of this project that will serve Peachlanders for decades to come. And we hope that there will be a few people like Emannuel, who have made good gains on a stock they’ve owned for 10, 20, 30 or more years, and who want to have a significant impact on this legacy project for Peachland.
Our primary appeal to individuals right now is the “Three Times for the Hub” pledge, in which you make a donation now and commit to donate the same amount again in 12 months and then again in 24 months. See our ad or contact us at email@example.com for more details.
Next update in about a month 🙂
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