Museum pavilion planned as community project

The Central B.C. Railway and Forestry Museum has joined forces with an international group to build a new pavilion to shelter the museum's most valuable rolling stock.

The Timber Framers Guild, a group dedicated to promoting, supporting, honouring and advancing the craft of timber framing, will erect the 44-foot wide and 266-foot long structure this summer.

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"This project is also about providing learning opportunities about timber framing. There is a huge educational aspect of it," said the museum's executive director Ranjit Gill.

Timber framing is one of the oldest forms of construction, reminiscent of times past when buildings were constructed using logs.

It is also referred to as post and beam, a method of timber construction that relies on the timber frame as the primary structural support, jointed together with wooden pegged mortises and tenon joints.

Today, the Timber Framer's Guild continues to partner with other non-profit organizations to hoist community building projects all over the world.

"I embarked on this project to promote accessibility with a pavilion to cover the eight-10 rail cars that are in need of restoration here at the museum," said Gill.

"We strongly believe that yes, museums provide education, but life is measured in memories and that's why accessibility is important especially for our seniors."

The guild, along with the railway museum, have also partnered with UNBC's wood engineering program and CNC.

The community building project offers a platform for education in heavy timber construction to provide a wide range of training opportunities to guild members, local carpenters, general contractors, engineering students and young people interested in a career in the trades.

Training will cover various areas of timber frame construction including: design and project organization, basic timber framing skills, fabrication techniques for large projects and raising effectiveness and safety.

The guild pioneered the idea of working vacations more than 25 years ago. Volunteers will camp on site to share the love of the craft.

"This project has attracted timber framer volunteers from as far away as Australia, Turkey and England as well as all over the U.S. and Canada and of course, local volunteers," Gill said.

According to the guild, the goal is to help communities create structures that are a lasting monument to the shared effort of local volunteers and the guild.

The Railway and Forestry Museum is looking forward to hosting guild members from around the world to gather and raise the structure.

"This really is a community project," Gill said.

"The museum belongs to the community."

The community building project's fabrication phase is set for May 22 to June 2. The raising phase will take place July 17-28.

To participate as project crew or for more information go online to: www.tfgprincegeorgecbp.org.

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