The B.C. Government is inviting bidders to submit their qualifications to design and build the Royal BC Museum’s collections and research building.

The Province has posted a request for qualifications (RFQ) to identify proponents capable of designing and building the new facility on a 3.2-hectare (eight acre) 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 house the museum’s collections, research departments and the BC Archives. The Royal BC Museum can no longer safely store the seven million objects and 28 kilometres of archival records in its collections. The building does not meet today’s accessibility or seismic standards. The new state-of-the-art facility will use environmental controls to better preserve and protect the collections.

Right now, people have access to less than 1% of the collections. The new building will make more of the museum’s collections accessible to the public. People will be able to access the collections by viewing artifacts and displays, watch researchers at work through accessible lab areas and engage with museum staff on site and online through the on-site media centre. Improving public access and including more voices is imperative to the museum’s work.

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
  • 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 to break ground in 2022 and will open to the public in 2025. The main museum and public galleries will remain in downtown Victoria.

The Transportation Investment 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, 2021.

Featured image: The Royal BC Museum in in Victoria. (BC Royal Museum)

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