This update covers our Society's activities during April, May and June of 2006. Our outdoor projects have commenced, and we are pleased to announce that preparations are being made for repair and renovations to the old Recreation Hall, which will become our Interpretive Center.
Track Display : During this period, we began design and development of our outdoor track display. All the gravel required to level out this track was acquired and contoured around the track pad. Thanks to the City of Yellowknife for donating some material, and also to RTL Robinson Enterprises for supplying the remaining gravel at cost. Work parties were held on May 14, May 27, June 3 and June 24. Most of the track has now been laid. Thanks to all those who volunteered: Walt Humphries, Diane Baldwin, Ryan Silke, Alf Silke, James Lawrence, Mike Beauregard, Mike Vaydik, Dave Kellett, Dave Jones, Deb Bain, Wayne and Mary Bryant, Joe Chorotowski, and Didier Bourgois. Greg Delaney of Coneco Equipment also donated the use of a bobcat for a few hours to help with the display, as did Joe Chorotowski.
Log Cabin Work: The old log cabin is currently being used to store tools for the track display. We plan to put preservative on the logs and chink them. Some touch-up painting on the building was also done, clean up inside, a front porch was built, picnic tables and benches have been set up, and two slag pots have been placed on the porch and are being used as flower pots.
Other Site Work: Security improvements have been made to buildings and more improvements are planned. The front porch and double doors of the warehouse were repainted. Clearing of brush around the back of the warehouse was completed and some brush was also cleared around the A-Shaft buildings and recreation hall. General site cleanup and maintenance will continue throughout the summer by Walt Humphries and Ryan Silke. The mine also cleaned out the old pipe boxes to the site and spread fresh gravel around the area.
Recreation Hall Repairs: A request for proposals for design and construction drawings for the Recreation Hall was completed by Wayne Bryant and has been sent out to architectural firms for bids. We plan to have a set of architectural plans ready to begin work on the building in July 2006. In the meantime, more work has been done to waterproof the structure. In June, we hired Dan Haldorson to sheet the roof with plywood over the section which was leaking and place a tarp over top of it. This patch will keep the roof from leaking until we can do a permanent repair to the structure.
We have also began to some cleanup the interior and some minor renovations. Lots of time has been spent making the place look nice including repainting, clearing of brush, and demolition of adjacent derelict structures such as a side deck. We would like to thank Paul Brothers Welding for giving us security window screens at cost. We would also like to that Bill Mitchell and the Giant Mine Remediation team for their continued help.
Giant Mine Items: Artifact and equipment collection from Giant Mine continues. On June 13, we picked up some heavy items from the old refinery, including brick molds and slag pots. These heavy slag pots will make nice flower pots and planters. We have identified a large list of equipment that we still need from the mine and we will arrange to have those items moved this summer. This includes the old Brock timber pole headframe, which we will move down to our display area. We have also been collecting things from the old town site. These include some building materials needed for our outdoor displays.
Giant Townsite Vision: The City of Yellowknife is preparing the release of a final report that gives options on the future of the Giant town site. The Society took part in the final public meeting on May 24. We are interested in these plans, and particularly support one of the proposals which calls for the saving of a selection of buildings for heritage purposes. One of these structures, the old Guesthouse, has already been identified by our society as having value. We will continue working with the City to try to ensure that the town site is used to its full potential.
Student's Heritage Fair Project: The Society extends its congratulations to Brooke Madsen for her very interesting project that she submitted for the NWT Territorial Historica Fairs Showcase. Brooke, a Grade 7 student, decided to do her project on our Society and the future mining museum. She was one of the winners of the regional competition, but unfortunately did not advance to the territorial finals. The project included a model of our museum site and a video tour of the site and our artifacts. It is now on display at the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines office.
Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce Trade Show: The Society set up a booth at the annual Chamber of Commerce Trade Show on May 13-14. We sold books, drill core, rail spikes and George Hunter photo prints, and also attracted a lot of support. Thanks to Diane Baldwin, Pattie Beales, Ryan Silke, Dave Kellett, Mike Vaydik, Mike Beauregard, Lynda Comerford, and Wayne and Mary Bryant for volunteering their time at the trade show.
Community Participation: The Society has also made representations to or attended meeting for ecological areas in the city where they helped identify several areas of interest for preservation from a geological or historical perspective. Members attended the Northern Frontier Visitors Center workshop for developing a diamond display at that site. Members are also involved with the NTGO (Northwest Territories Geoscience Office) geoscape poster and the Giant Mine Community Alliance. Volunteer involvement in all areas of the Society's operation continues to be excellent, and we wish to give thanks and recognition to the membership for all the work they have done in recent months. More work parties will be planned this summer so please continue to check for updates from the Society.