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Conference centre to close Oct. 1

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First phase of renovations will take one year

It’s going to get noisy and dirty around Whistler’s conference centre next month.

On Oct.1 the centre will close its doors for a year and Phase I of impressive renovations will get underway to bring the centre up to a worldwide standard.

"The benefit of this project for the community is immense," said Suzanne Denbak, CEO of Tourism Whistler.

"It is so important for the future health and success of the resort. Our ability to bring business to the resort in the spring, summer and fall is really going to be enhanced with a facility that is truly world-class.

"We have suffered by having a facility that is not up to the standards that Whistler has set in terms of the nature of the experience that we offer to our leisure travelers."

For the first two months workers will concentrate on tearing down the interior atrium and getting ready to place a new concrete floor across the entire surface at ground level, substantially increasing usable convention space.

This deconstruction is likely to take longer than similar projects as it is the goal of Task Construction to divert 80 per cent of the materials to recycling and salvage depots.

For example any old concrete will be trucked out and crushed and used again as road surface. Timbers cut down inside will also be re-used as work progresses.

During this phase of construction, said Task construction manager Susan Hildebrand, several outside parking spots in the lot at the north of the centre will be taken over.

A large fence will also be erected along the side of the centre traveling around the front entrance of the building. A covering will be attached to the fence to minimize dust and dirt travelling out into the pedestrian area.

Work will be carried out during the day from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. If the project gets behind schedule work may be done on Saturdays.

A weekly activity schedule will be posted for the public at the front of the centre.

Donny Paschleigh, general manager of Tapley’s is concerned at the loss of parking and the noise level.

But he said: "The other thing is it will bring construction workers into the area."

At a breakfast meeting hosted by Tourism Whistler this week to outline the plans other concerns were also raised.

Rob Sage of the Grocery Store sought some assurance that delivery trucks would be able to park and unload.

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