COLWOOD, B.C. — Being involved with this project would make you part of history. Literally.
B.C. officials are now inviting bidders to submit their qualifications to design and build the Royal BC Museum’s collections and research building.
A request for qualifications (RFQ) has been posed to identify proponents with the skills and capacity to design and build the new facility on a 3.2-hectare property at the Royal Bay development in Colwood. The RFQ is the first stage in a competitive process that invites companies to detail their expertise in delivering a project of this scale.
The collections and research building will be home to the museum’s collections, research departments and the BC Archives. Officials stated the museum’s seven million objects and 28 kilometres of archive records can’t be safely stored in its current facility. The building does not meet today’s accessibility or seismic standards. The province said the museum’s new facility will use environmental controls to better preserve and protect the collections.
Currently, visitors have access to less than one per cent of the collections, something officials want to change with the new facility. The design will allow people to access the collections by viewing artifacts and displays, watch researchers at work through accessible lab areas and engage with museum staff onsite and online through the onsite media centre.
The B.C. government has approved $224 million in capital funding for the 15,500 square-metre facility. Some of the specifications include indoor and outdoor learning spaces, using mass timber construction, meeting CleanBC energy efficiency standards, state-of-the-art environmental controls to protect the collections and archives and research facilities, laboratories and viewable collections storage.
According to BC Statistics’ Construction Employment Estimates calculator, the project will generate approximately 950 jobs for carpenters, construction workers, engineers and suppliers. It will also support training and jobs for local First Nations. Indigenous partners will be part of the building project team and help design exhibits and develop programs.
The government will select the company to lead the design build project in spring 2022. Government expects crews to begin work in 2022 and wrap up in 2025. The main museum and public galleries will remain in downtown Victoria.
The Transportation Investment (TI) Corporation is delivering the project on behalf of the province. TI Corp. is a Crown corporation with legislative authority to complete major projects, providing project oversight and management.
The deadline to respond to the RFQ is Sept. 8.