FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – John Buchko of EDS Group Inc. on behalf of the City of Fort St. John presented ‘Festival Plaza Conceptual Development’ to seek direction from Council to the general design concept, the type of material the plaza structure would be built from and would Council want continued public engagement.
Two configurations of the space were presented to Council; option one included a one-way road lane and space for vending trucks. The second option included a two-way lane and a loading area, Council voted in favour for the first option.
As this meeting was to ask for clarity to start creating more detailed design options, the other question for the Plaza site was what would the main structure be made of.
Visual representations of steel and wood structures were presented. Wood was visually appealing, yet the concern for long-term maintenance of wood would be costly. As the location of the building is close to the road, the building will require regular washing due to road grime.
A steel structure with wood cladding was requested by Council, as well as seeking more visual representations of what this combination would look like. Images of the steel building options were limited. It was expressed as necessary that the new building represents the region as it will be seen as people drive into the city.
Council had other questions regarding items that were shown on the proposed plaza design such as fire pits and wanting them to be temporary and the options for closing the building with doors or walls which will be discussed once the building structure material is chosen.
Council directed staff to proceed to a detailed design with Site Design – Option One with a steel building with wood cladding, and further consultation with the community regarding the design of the proposed building structure.
The goal is to get a plan in place for tender in March 2019, with construction starting in April and completed by September.
The site of the new festival plaza will be located on the site of the old visitor’s centre, $1.2 million was allocated from the Peace River Agreement signing bonus in 2015 for the development of this space.
This new space in Centennial Park aligns with the City’s strategic plan to use downtown as a social, vibrant hub. As the plaza will be an addition to the Park, it is desirable for the new space to complement and be cohesive.