Columbia Basin Trust is pausing work on Creston’s historic red grain elevator to seek additional funding partners for the next phase.
A review of contractor bids revealed that further work would result in significantly higher costs than originally budgeted.
The grain elevators represent a Canadian symbol and an agricultural landmark that is rapidly disappearing. The six-storey-high structures in Creston, built in 1935 and 1936, are two of only four wooden grain elevators left in all of British Columbia. During their prime, the grain elevators were used to collect, store, and ship locally-grown wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Operations ceased in the 1980s.
“This conservation project has come a long way since we purchased the elevators in 2018, and we thank everyone involved for the progress made to date,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO of the Trust.
“The project is a huge undertaking and costs are significantly higher than expected. We remain committed to conserving this landmark and we’ll be reaching out to other organizations to discuss potential funding partnerships.”
The work so far has included historical, structural, and health and safety assessments; removing hazardous materials; hiring an architect and construction manager; and 3-D modelling on the red elevator to give the team the specifications it needs to proceed with conservation and to digitally store the exact configuration of the elevator for generations to come. Critical project components have been completed to stabilize the project, including a new roof, structural enhancements, further health and safety improvements and some exterior work including securing openings in both elevators.
“The Town of Creston really appreciates the considerable headway the Trust has made to conserve this building, which means a lot to the people of the Creston Valley,” said Ron Toyota, Mayor of Creston.
“The elevators are an important landmark, and we recognize that further efforts are going to take time and collaborations.”
To learn more about the conservation project on the elevators – and try out a virtual walk-through – visit ourtrust.org/creston.