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Re-Build-It Centre finds permanent home

Grand opening to be celebrated June 4



At last.

The Re-Build-It Centre finally has its own home. Still in Function Junction it has moved into a warehouse space at the end of Alpha Lake Road.

"We are so thrilled," said Lorna Van Straaten, the interim executive director for the Whistler Community Services Society.

"It is an amazing space and it came with already installed racking so it made the space completely functional for us."

The Centre will officially open June 4 but users can access stock immediately.

It already has some quality appliances and kitchen materials from renovations being done in the community.

There will also be an education centre.

"We've got books on how to re-build and how to use used building supplies and project ideas and popcorn and coffee so people can come and hang-out there and get ideas," said Van Straaten.

The Centre will be open seven days a week 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be a self-contained retail space with its own cash register and so on.

"It is set up for business," said Van Straaten.

Already at the Centre are items such as an $8,000 slab of granite and kitchen cabinets.

"There is a stacking washer/dryer and a gorgeous gas stove," said Van Straaten.

It's been a long road for the Re-Build-It Centre - a dream for more than five years.

"I'm so thrilled," said Van Straaten.

"It has been a real trial by fire, a crazy project."

It had been hoped that the Centre would end up on municipal land to avoid the cost of rent, but that was not to be.

At the new location rent must be paid but Van Straaten believes it is worth it.

"We really think that Whistler will support this project and the funding will go to programs," she said.

"So yes we have to pay rent but on the other hand the donations we are getting are amazing so it really should be offset.

"We still have to be business-like in our transactions and price accordingly for the given market."

Whistler is unique in that high quality materials do become available during upgrades and renos.

"The fact that people are pulling out an $8,000 to $10,000 slab of granite from a kitchen and donating it to put another $8,000 to $12,000 one in is unique," said Van Straaten.

The existence of the Centre is also changing the way the construction industry views its work as more and more builders are recovering things in such as way that they can be donated for re-use.

The Centre will also provide workers to come in and recover items for free, such as appliances and so on, as long as the items are in good shape and would have a re-sale value of over $300. Broken appliances or materials in poor shape will not be accepted.

Items can be dropped off during working hours and the Centre can be reached at 604-902-4088.

If the donation involves a lot of material it is best to call ahead to organize the delivery or even a site visit, to see what can be accepted.

The Centre is now at #103 - 1400 Alpha Lake Road.

Van Straaten said the Centre is looking for good quality used appliances as she expects the sale of those to be an important fundraiser.

The proceeds from sales will go towards the Whistler Community Services Society, which in turn will spend that money on programs like the Whistler Food Bank.

The Re-Build-It Centre provides a way for locals to save money on home improvement projects, while also diverting reusable construction materials from the landfill.

With files from Andrew Mitchell



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