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Stung by costly rebuild plan, Royal BC Museum going back to the public for feedback

Move comes after B.C. government cancelled a projected $789-million rebuild after public blowback
People walk up stairs to the entrance of the Royal BC Museum. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

The Royal BC Museum is taking another crack at planning for the future of the building after the first controversial rebuild plan was scrapped.

In June, the B.C. Government cancelled a projected $789-million rebuild of the museum due to the public shock at the price tag.

The museum is trying again with a multi-year community engagement initiative, the first phase of which is set to take place Jan. 17, 2023.

The first sessions will be hosted by CEO Alicia Dubois at Newcombe Conference Hall in the museum and will also be accessible through Zoom.

READ MORE: Province cancels controversial $789M Royal BC Museum rebuild

Those interested are urged to reserve a seat ahead of time, due to limited space.

The museum’s rebuild plan comes as the current building on Belleville Street is said to be seismically unsafe and lacking in space for artifacts, according the the province’s concept plan.

Even with the release of a business case and concept plan defending the rebuild, British Columbians challenged the necessity of such a venture, citing the province’s many other needs.

In the plan, the museum attributed the need for a move or rebuild to remove lead, arsenic and asbestos, as well as seismic concerns and flooding problems.

However, in an Angus Reid Institute survey, only 22 per cent of respondents said they supported the project despite the reported needs.

Registration for the community engagement sessions on Jan. 12, Jan. 26 and Jan. 31 is now open. Each session will hold two meeting times with the first occurring at 1 to 3 p.m. and the second from 6 to 8 p.m.

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Hollie Ferguson

About the Author: Hollie Ferguson

Hollie moved to Victoria from Virginia in September 2022 with her partner Zachary and their two pups, Theodore and Bibi.
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