Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Renovations Under Way at the Discovery Centre

From Tori Sutton at the Stratford Gazette:

"Apprentices from the Ontario Masonry Training Centre have been hard at work since the start of January, putting a new limestone facade on the north wall and repointing brick on the east wall. Old fire exit doors on the north wall are also being replaced with windows.

"Discovery Centre board vice president and chair of property Andy Werner said the project will establish the north wall as the focal point of the building and its main entrance. 'This is to reorient the building toward the Festival,' he said, adding it made sense because the majority of pedestrian traffic is on that side of the building. 'Once we get this done, it will be the dramatic entrance to the building.'

"Two years ago, the fire escape was removed from the north wall and last year, new entrance doors were installed. The most recent work should be wrapped up in March, in time for the tourist season and the opening of the Festival’s Theatre Store, which will now be located on the first level of the Discovery Centre.

"The improvements will keep with the character of the building, said Werner. Marklevitz Architects have helped in planning the project, while Owen Sound Ledgerock Inc. donated $110,000 worth of limestone. Superior Propane has donated the propane to heat the enclosure in which the apprentices work. While the work is of obvious benefit to the building and the city, the apprentices also benefit from working on the historic project.

"'They need something to apply the teaching of these young apprentices so it gives them a spot to do that,' he said. 'One of the things they want to do is train masons so they realize what they have to do to work year round.'"

On Stratford Stage anticipates that the new Discovery Centre will be featured in one of the Wednesday Webcasts, as announced earlier today.

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