Vancouver Island First Nation

Community building builds upon Nation's dreams

Castlemain was first brought in to conduct a feasibility study on whether a commercial building would be financially viable on a small site on a Southern Vancouver Island reserve. We discovered that while a building was physically feasible, there remained commercial uncertainty. In the process of assessing the Nation’s comfort with this uncertainty, a discussion emerged regarding a community building. This discussion turned into an excited visioning session where the combination of a gymnasium, community store, meeting rooms and more came to life.

Our role was to deliver on these dreams. By having a full and clear understanding of the many roles required to bring a project to completion, Castlemain served as the owner’s representatives in managing the process (and more than 20 consultants and contractors) on behalf of the First Nation, from concept to completion: all on-time and under-budget.

What was achieved

  • This Reserve-Based First Nation community had a long-unrealised dream of their Community Building, a dream that endured many stops and starts over the course of more than 30 years.
  • Particular challenges included a very small and steep site, the potential for disturbing archaeological sites, regulatory hurdles, a contaminated site, internal politics, and financial structuring and sourcing.
  • Castlemain tackled these in tandem with the Chiefs and Councils. Communication was very open, and as a result, Council was able to make all their decisions with their eyes wide open regarding the cost and timing implications
  • Our role was to be the project manager/owner’s representative where we were the primary coordinator for all project-related work. We selected all of the design team consultants as well as the general contractor through a rigorous tendering process. Because we were at the center of the action we were able to ensure that communication was consistent between all parties: this was critical. In the end, we managed more than 20 different team member consultants/contractors.

Project value

Square feet

Individual contractors and consultants

Months feasibility timeline

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