By Loreth Beswetherick
The roof is on and the re-use centre at the Function Junction compactor site is days away from being ready for occupation but it could be a couple of months before the centre is actually up and running.
The municipality has invested more than $100,000 in the building but it will likely be standing empty until some time in late January or February. That’s because the Whistler Community Services Society, which will be operating the re-use centre, is not ready to move in yet. Director Janet McDonald said December is crunch time for community services and it will be some time before they can get to work fitting out the interior.
"December is our craziest time of year and we still have got things to do, like shelving and painting. There’s a lot of prep work."
Acting director of public works Brian Barnett said the 1,500 square-foot building — constructed off-site in the Lower Mainland — would be finished this week. The intent is to use the facility as a place people can donate used clothing, household items, sports equipment and smaller pieces of furniture — things too good to throw away. The items will then be sold at bargain basement prices and funds generated by the thrift store operation would be used to create new WCSS programs and expand old ones. The centre will serve as a resource for those on a shoe-string budget needing clothing, household supplies and furniture.
The centre was supposed to open in the spring of 1999, then by the end of November and then before Christmas.
McDonald said the society has been fortunate with donations of paint and shelving. There are also volunteers lined up to offer labour. She said WCSS will be issuing a call for other items needed, like a washer and dryer, coat racks and change room facilities. She said the society is not ready to accept donations of used items yet.
"We will announce when we are capable of handling the onslaught."
She said WCSS is looking to start re-use operations on weekends initially. "Then we will see how it goes and build from there. I imagine it will all happen fairly quickly and furiously."