New much-needed seasonal housing at Barkerville Historic Town and Park was officially opened this past weekend.
As part of its annual general meeting on June 15, members of the Barkerville Heritage Trust held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Forest Rose Staff Housing Camp at Barkerville Historic Town and Park. The staff housing camp is located at the Forest Rose Campground and has opened for the season after a year of planning and implementation.
“This important project provides 26 units of safe, affordable, seasonal housing to support the operations of Barkerville Heritage Trust and park,” Barkerville Heritage Trust board chair Kirstin Clausen said right before cutting a ribbon on the deck. “Barkerville plays a crucial role in the economic development of the local, regional and provincial economy, and this project would not have been possible without the support of the Province of B.C.’s Rural Dividend Fund, West Fraser Mills, ATCO and Barkerville Heritage Trust, whose financial contributions made the planning, construction and outfitting of the Forest Rose Staff Camp possible.”
Clausen also acknowledged “the professional and quality work” of their construction team — ATCO Structures and Logistics, Algonquin Contracting, Canadian Western Mechanical, James and Sons Electric Ltd., and Barkerville Heritage Trust staff.
“This is a big deal,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”
The new housing camp includes 26 small bedrooms, four kitchenettes and a laundry room.
“It was all done with local contractors and ATCO out of Prince George,” Barkerville Historic Town and Park CEO Ed Coleman noted as the group walked through the camp.
Coleman says they are also working to address housing needs by working with BC Housing to create affordable housing in Wells. He says they are approved and have a consultant who will be working with the community of Wells and the surrounding area, and they are looking forward to the opportunity to provide more housing.
“The camp is helping with part of the shortage,” he said during the Barkerville Heritage Trust annual general meeting right before the ribbon cutting. “We have 26 beds, and we know the shortage is about 68 beds, so we’re putting a dent in it seasonally, but there’s a lot of work ahead on housing.”