City council has approved a $4 million budget increase for the contractors working to expand the Surrey Museum.
When Heatherbrae Builders Co. Ltd. was originally awarded the tender for the Surrey Museum expansion in September 2017, they were approved for expenditures up to $8.2 million. The increase in expenditure allowance, approved at Monday’s council meeting, will bring the total budget to a maximum of $12.2 million.
The $4 million increase is being provided by a federal government grant that was awarded to the project in July 2017.
Civic Facility Manager Scott Groves said the grant was great news for the development team, but they did not have time to include it in the original tender contract, which was awarded two months after the grant announcement.
Instead, they immediately began to work with the architects of the museum expansion to “create a better museum footprint” that was in line with the “original vision” of the project.
Groves said the $4 million will go towards projects that had been earmarked for future development. “The federal grant helped us get further along in our vision … [and to] bring all these things together,” he said.
The funding will go towards the new Indigenous Hall exhibit, the Kids Explore Zone, landscaping in Veteran’s Square and the northwest campus, remediation of contaminated soil, and the relocation and restoration of the 1881 Town Hall and the Anniedale School heritage buildings.
It will also provide on-site crate storage for travelling exhibitions, which will make work much more efficient for museum staff. Before the grant money was awarded, the crates would have had to be stored off site in temperature-controlled facilities.
The museum expansion construction started in October 2017 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018.