The Creation of the Centre
You can follow the progress as it took place, from the bottom of the page to the top
|Our Oceaneers are in training so they will be ready host our visitors when we open.||Our drywall crew is doing the final touches as the special effects are being added.|
|The wall coverings from Speedpro Signs in Sidney add the finishing touch to the Gallery of the Salish Sea.||Our first animals are settling into their new home at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.|
|The Rain City Rock artists are working their magic on the outdoor tide pools.||Indoors, the touch pools built and donated by Blackline Marine are being installed.|
May 12, 2009 – Lots of help now!We have some great assistance now. Everyone is helping us push toward our June 20 opening.
|The Vancouver Aquarium crew came over to help us begin our marine life collection.||Several days of expert assistance from the Vancouver Aquarium was a huge help.|
|Our own aquarist team led by Mike Anderson and Paula Romagosa help our new specimens settle into the aquariums.||Lorne and Phoenix Underwood drop by to kid-test the massive ocean wall in the lobby. It passed!|
|The Rain City Rock crew ‘shoot’ the outdoor tide pool.||Yellow rocks? The rebar and mesh shapes that will soon become rocks to shape the tide pool.|
April 17, 2009 – The Wizards have taken over!We are now into the fascinating stage of the special effects and features. To create these we truly have a team of wizards!
|Gordon has been on the massive ocean wall for some time now. Its meticulous carpentry work.||The work of the wall wizard… more to come in this series. Check back to March 6th and see how it looked then.|
|Mike sound wizard from Masters Digital proves the concept for a special effect for the deep sea elevator.||Two more Mikes, Superintendent Mike Lewis (left) and Aquarist Mike Anderson (right) ride the butt kicker test platform. More on this later!|
|The paint wizards. Local artist Sandra Ritter considerable skills extend to special effects surfaces. Here she makes new look old in the jetty.||Sandra has even turned some of our painting contractor’s crew into artists! No job is too large or small for the crew from Chris Lloyd Contracting.|
April 7, 2009 – Work begins on the outdoor tide pools.
A free community amenity of the project will be the outdoor tide pools where anyone enjoying a walk on Sidney’s waterfront walkway can stop by to visit their favourite sea star or anemone. The tide pools are a gift to the community from New Marine Centre supporters Pat Trottier and Gwyn Morgan… and we thank them!
|Project Manager Owen Redfern (right) discussed plans for the outdoor tide pool with Gary Hermsen.||Hermsen’s equipment tip toes across the lawn in front of the building.|
|Our new exit from the building in the south east side.|
March 10, 2009 – Everybody is here!
The site is very busy now as we have almost every trade on the job. We are very fortunate to have such a talented crew of trades professionals working hard to meet the tight deadlines.
|We have carpenters that can frame in circles!||We have electricians and no sparks.|
|We have drywallers and smooth walls.||Up there… the insulation installer.|
We have pipe fitters on the floor, up in the air and everywhere.
|If we need to build an ark we even have shipwrights.||Drum roll please (they are always making noise) the sheet metal crew.|
|Our very own rock stars… the rock artists for our exhibit back drops.|
February 17, 2009 – Moving forward on every front!
|Sparks fly as the Universal Sheet Metal crew install the ventilation system.||Our volunteer docents spread the word at Hillside Shopping Centre.|
|Rock and roll! RainCity Rock and Waterscape’s head designer and artist Peter Heiss begins to work his magic for the “rock” backdrops in the aquariums.||It’s a tight work space but our fish will love it.|
|Our volunteer team is growing. Paula Romagosa (right) leads the training program at the Marine Ecology Centre.||The Defender regenerative filter a key component of our specimen life support system is in position. Let the serious plumbing begin!|
January 21, 2009 – OK it’s getting crowded in here now!
|The Gallery of the Salish Sea is taking shape with all the aquariums installed and the surrounding walls going into place.||The first half of the Salish Sea gallery features six habitats and the service area where our filtration system will be installed.|
|Looking back toward the overhead octopus exhibit clad in a protective coating. It’s full of water and no leaks!||A glimpse behind the scenes to show the back stage area on the mezzanine level where the massive showcase and octopus exhibits can be serviced.|
December 16, 2008 – More progress!
|Not all tasks are exciting but even this one isn’t really boring. We drilled eight holes for our saltwater pipes through the 2’ thick sheer wall. After x-raying the wall it was possible to drill between the massive steel rebar rods in the wall.||Hamish finishes framing the ramp under the octopus exhibit.|
|The custom fabricated galvanised steel support stands for our habitats are arriving each week. Only four more to go! This one will support the salmon habitat.||Major progress in the eastern end of the Gallery of the Salish Sea with the five largest aquariums on position.|
November 19, 2008 – Octopus condos available!
The newest features installed this week at the New Marine Centre are the octopus towers and overhead grotto that will contain eleven tons of seawater and will be home to our Pacific Octopus.
|Easy does it as the pieces of acrylic are carefully transported the last few feet from the California factory.||A bit of fine tuning to make the overhead grotto fit between the towers. Yikes! Is that a crowbar?|
|The acrylic arch is in place and ready for the joints to be sealed by the crew from Waterdog.||Why is this man smiling? Because it fits perfectly! John Harriman, President of Waterdog Products takes customer service seriously.|
November 10, 2008 – Tank you very much!
It’s like Christmas came early to the New Marine Centre; so many large parcels! First came the huge sump tanks that are a vital component of our water treatment system. Drew Irwin’s expert crew at Sidney’s own Philbrook’s Boatyard fabricated the giant fibreglass tanks that will hold the water that will feed our pumps and nurture our collection of marine life. Philbrook’s donated two of these custom fabricated units valued at almost $50,000. Thank you Philbrook’s!
|NMC Superintendent Mike Lewis checks out the great work of the Philbrook’s crew with their foreman Les Margetts.||Sliding Sump A into position beside the main pumps.|
|Mike and Hamish inch the sump tank into position using the same technique that built the pyramids..||It’s a tight fit but it slips into the space exactly as planned.|
The aquarium display habitats have been manufactured by internationally recognised aquarium builders Waterdog Products in California. The huge octopus exhibit and four other large habitats arrived in one tractor trailer load.
|First light in the Seaport Place parking lot reveals a heavily loaded semi and crane ready to lift the carefully wrapped aquariums into the building.||It’s a big lift when the crane reached for the largest aquarium that weighs 3900 lbs and that’s when it’s empty! Wait till we add water.|
|It’s a tight fit through the service door. Only 3” clearance overhead but we planned it that way. Still it was a relief when it squeezed through the door.||Now it’s crowded inside. The crew will need to work quickly to get these aquariums into place this week because the next truck load will be on the way in just a few days.|
October 27, 2008 – Aquariums in the offing!
The New Marine Centre’s custom designed aquariums are being fabricated in California by an amazing crew at Waterdog Products. Twelve acrylic aquariums will soon be shipped to Sidney for installation in our building. Soon after their arrival we will arrange a hard hat tour over a weekend so you can check out the progress first hand. We are on track for our June 2009 opening thanks to the great work of John Harriman and his crew at Waterdog. Thank you John!
|The sandy bottom habitat will recreate the ecosystem seen on the sea floor in areas like Sidney Spit. The black box is the fibreglass structure. The white area is the protective coating on the acrylic viewing panel.||The 8’ diameter salmon exhibit is pure acrylic with no vertical supports. It will be a key feature of the Salish Gallery.|
Our most dramatic unit is the radically designed overhead octopus exhibit. Visitors will
walk between the towers on either side and discover octopus in dens directly above them.
October 24, 2008 – We have been framed!
During the last three weeks of October, 2008 much of the interior framing has been completed and some of the drywall has been installed. Once the large seawater storage tanks for the life support system are delivered from Philbrook’s Boatyard the framing will be completed.
|Timber delivery for the massive dock structure.||Framing in the waterfront gallery.|
|Waterproof drywall being installed.||Principal designer, James Peterson (right) discusses the tide pool mock-up with Project Manager, Owen Redfern and Construction Superintendent, Mike Lewis.|
Reinforcements Arrive! September 2008
Aquariums are heavy. Adding 87 tonnes of seawater to our building requires some serious engineering. Tony Horlor of Stantec Engineering designed the structure for the Pier building. Now he has added to his original structure to accommodate the special needs of our marine life collection.
This means steel. Lots of steel! Alliance Engineering Ltd manufactured the new structural steel supports and decks that are being inserted into the building. After being shipped to Vancouver for hot dipped galvanizing (to prevent rust) the sections of steel were delivered for installation on September 12, 2008.
And for added strength, reinforced concrete decks are poured on top of the steel structures. The concrete arrived on September 25, 2008 and was placed in one pour throughout the day.
|Curbs are poured to separate the mechanical/service areas from the public spaces.||The massive showcase habitat has a special steel platform and concrete deck to supplement the building floor.|
Marine Centre on CHEK News
August 21, 2008 – Giant Aquariums Arrive
The first of the giant acrylic aquariums that will be home to marine life in the New Marine Centre arrive and are carefully loaded in through the service door. Over 4 tonnes of custom formed acrylic the kreisels as they are known will provide the habitat for our exhibit of jellies.
|This photo shows how the finished product will look. Fourteen more aquariums are on order.|
March 7,8,9, 2008 – New Marine Centre Flooded… by visitors!
The three day Open House attracted 2,982 curious visitors to see the amazing building that will be home to the New Marine Centre. The plans for this ocean discovery centre were displayed on giant screens and it was a great opportunity for local residents to discuss the project with the design team and make suggestions. The New Marine Centre will open in the spring of 2009. More open houses are planned during the construction phase.
|Visitors of all ages were welcome!||Volunteers, including Board Vice-Chair Dr. John Harper, gave over 220
personal tours through the building.
|Large crowds thrilled at the view from the spectacular waterfront
|Madeline, Paula and Dr. Bill Austin from the Marine Ecology Centre
shared their special view of live sea creatures with visitors.
Something Special for everyone. The New Marine Centre is all about kids.
Images taken by: Mikes Patterson
January 4, 2008 – $2 Million Boost to Fundraising Efforts
The $8.5 Million Discover Your Ocean Campaign receives a $2 Million boost thanks to the Canada/BC Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.
|The Hon. Gary Lunn MP announces $2 Million Canada/BC Infrastructure Grant for the New Marine Centre.||Murray Coell MLA strongly supports the New Marine Centre and the BC contribution to the Infrastructure Grant.|
|Campaign co-Chairs Lynda and Murray Farmer announce $1.2 Million in private gifts from the founding supporters of the Discover Your Ocean Campaign.||Mayor Don Amos explains how the Town of Sidney acquired the spectacular New Marine Centre location in the Sidney Pier building through a development agreement with Marker Developments.|
|Left to right – Angus Matthews Executive Director, Murray Coell MLA, the Hon. Gary Lunn MP, Peter Lloyd NMC Board Chair, Lynda and Murray Farmer Campaign co-Chairs, Mayor Don Amos.|
|Visitors check out images of the mid-water gallery.||Marine Biologist Paula Romagosa shares tide pool life with visiting children.|
|Over 130 supporters explored the amazing New Marine Centre building.|
Images taken by: Mark Malleson