Maritime Conference has begun construction on a new building which will serve as the Conference Office and Conference Archives. The building will providing meeting space, as well. The new building will be approximately 13,000 square feet, including 2500 square feet of office space, 1400 square feet of meeting space, and 4700 square feet of archives storage.

The start of construction signals the conclusion of a lengthy process of examination, reflection, consultation and planning.

 

New building in progress

 

 

The new building will be approximately 13,000 square feet, including 2500 square feet of office space, 1400 square feet of meeting space, and 4700 square feet of archives storage. Insulation, heating, air conditioning, and humidity control in the archives storage will maintain the temperature at below 15 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity at below 30%. This will ensure that the records will not suffer any degradation for at least 150 years.

The start of construction signals the conclusion of a lengthy process of examination, reflection, consultation, and planning. It is primarily the need for a Conference Archives that has prompted this significant project. Quite appropriately, archives grow over time as documents, photographs, and artifacts are gathered. Maritime Conference Archives has its roots in the Presbyterian and Methodist churches prior to Union in 1925. Since 1925 the Conference Archives has been housed in a variety of locations and has always been under pressure for space, along with a concern for suitable environmental controls and the longevity of the holdings. The most recent move of the Archives was in 1997 to the Conference Office at 32 York Street, Sackville, N.B. However, by 2000, concern was already being expressed about the lack of space. In 2007 a consultant was hired to assist in exploring options. In 2008, ecumenical partnerships were explored, and a conversation with Sackville United Church began. In 2009 the Conference Executive mandated the preparation of a concept for a stand-alone Archives, along with a Conference Centre that would include Archives.

In June 2010, a generous, unsolicited offer to purchase the Conference properties on York Street, Sackville was received. Following the decision to accept this offer, the Conference Accommodations Committee was formed to work promptly towards the construction of the new facility.

A thorough review of the history and timeline of the Conference Office and Conference Archives is available in this PDF document: Building Project Summary.

The building has been designed with an eye to energy efficiency and emerging “green” technologies, while remaining pragmatic about cost-benefits. Insulation and air-tightness are the first priorities. Supplemental heat will be provided by a natural gas-fired hot water in-floor heating system that can be converted to ground-source heat pump (geothermal) in the future. Engineering reports on other technologies do not support their use from a cost-benefit perspective. However, as efficiencies improve, or as motivation and funding warrant, they can be added at a later date.

The large, open meeting room can accommodate 80 people in one space, but can also be divided into three smaller rooms. A servery will allow for catered meals but full kitchen services are not part of the plan. It is hoped that, along with meeting the needs of the church, the space will prove beneficial to community groups.

Here are the photos of the building project.