Pemberton barn to be raised by late May 

Volunteers expected to spend two weeks building

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Everything is on schedule for the Pemberton Community Barn to be raised in the downtown core in less than three months.

That's according to project leader Randy Churchill of the Timber Framers Guild (TFG), who gave an update to Pemberton council during its Tuesday, March 4 Committee of the Whole session.

Based upon the timeline Churchill presented, the structure will be up on Saturday, May 24.

The not-for-profit TFG, which helps administer a handful of community projects like the barn around North America each year, will provide project guidance and volunteer labour.

"These projects change communities," said Churchill. "You'll have something really special in just a couple months."

Design plans for the 7,500-square-foot, open-air structure are nearing completion and should be finalized by mid-March, added Churchill. The building will be located at the northeast corner of Frontier Street and Portage Road.

About 50 volunteer workers will begin arriving in Pemberton during the second week of May.

"There will be an awful lot of beards, an awful lot of sandals and some beers drank in the evenings," Churchill said of the workforce to come.

But while the TFG will bring in a few dozen volunteers, a key component of the guild's projects is community involvement. On top of billeting, feeding and entertaining the incoming volunteers, Pemberton will also have local folks involved in the construction process.

Thinking back on past TFG projects, Churchill recalled one in 2006 where hundreds of school children pulled on the ropes in a frame raising, as one example. He added that safety is a huge focus of the guild's work, going "well beyond best practices." The site will be a controlled-access zone during the construction phase.

Churchill said the TFG exists to provide educational opportunities to its "dynamic" base of 1,500 members, meaning there will be "a whole bunch of education embedded in the project." Although the structure will feature a timber frame, Churchill pointed out that many projects, including Pemberton's, require steel as part of the design to account for snow loads and potential earthquakes.

Churchill also noted that the barn-raising activity is likely to draw media attention from beyond the Sea to Sky corridor, and added that the TFG is considering a documentary of the project of some kind.

The Village of Pemberton is tasked with clearing and preparing the site by May 5. Other finishing touches, such as metal roofing, will be installed after TFG volunteers leave town.

The village is releasing an informational brochure on Friday, March 7, that will detail a full project timeline, downtown parking information and volunteer opportunities. The brochure will be posted at as well.



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