White Point lodge rebuild on track

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Construction of the new White Point Beach Resort Lodge continues, and is on track for a late October opening, says owner Robert Risley. This view is from the check in desk in the front lobby

It can be hard to believe less than a year ago the lodge at White Point Beach Resort was lost to fire. However out of that tragedy came a promise to rebuild by owner Robert Risley.

Now the new lodge has risen from the ground, and is on track for opening the end of October.

Risley says he very pleased with how things are going so far. Though a bit chaotic because of the large number of workers compared to the size of the building, around 70 on site last week, everyone is managing to work around each other.

"Everybody is driving towards a common goal," says Risley.

Risley himself is on site at least once a week to meet with the contractor heads to go through progress and troubleshoot any problems. Like any construction project there have been challenges.

"A steel frame building is very unforgiving. You can't just run a pipe through a steel beam," he says.

However he says they haven't encountered anything major that has hindered progress.

Risley keeps an eye on the project through the webcams set up on site as well, and stays very involved with all aspects.

"Any project I've ever been involved with I get involved down to the most minute detail."

And there are a lot of little details that go into the build. Risley spent the Labour Day weekend figuring out what the washroom facilities would look like and the best hand dryer for their needs.

"We want to make sure we pick the very best and most efficient one from an energy and operational point of view," he says.

A lot of thought went into making things more efficient for the staff, with easier access to supplies, as well as what the patrons will see when they come through the doors.

The old lodge had low ceilings, while in this lodge some will be as high as 20 feet.

"It will give a much different feeling when you walk through the front. You not only will be able to see to straight through to the ocean, but also all the way up as well," says Risley.

The lodge will be fully accessible, something that couldn't be done in the past because of the age of the structure, and two accessible guest rooms.

While the resort has been mostly shut down, it has also been a time to update other aspects of the lodgings. The cottages are getting upgrades such as new flooring and carpets, bathrooms, linens and televisions.

The build is using as much local trade as they can find to do the job as well.

The windows, doors and exterior siding is being installed by Wayne Wentzell's company South Shore Home Construction. Chris Primrose from Primrose Computers is doing the data wiring for the building.

"It's nice when you can deal with smaller sub-trades, because more often than not you are dealing with the owner of the company. You can get very fast decisions made."

A little further afield Amos Wood in Blockhouse is providing the siding and interior furniture.

"We're trying to source as much of our wood and routine building supplies as locally as possible," says Risley.

Using local companies also gave some of the students with the Options and Opportunities program at the high school a chance to work on a large-scale building.

Many finer details going into the lodge will have a local touch as well. A new quilt is in the process of being made by Bev Crouse, and Joe Winters is carving out a new group of folk art figures to replace the ones lost in the fire.

The furniture for the dining room is being built by Lake City Woodworkers out of Halifax, a company that employs adults with challenges.

And yes, even the famous White Point bunnies are taken into consideration. When a bunny decided to make a nest near the construction site, the workers decided to move to a different area until the mother and babies had moved on.

 

 

Organizations: White Point Beach Resort, South Shore Home Construction, Primrose Computers

Geographic location: White Point

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