Work underway on Grand Falls House Sustainability Plan

Randy Edison
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With a deadline looming and the holiday season fading in the rear view mirror, work has begun in earnest on the long term plans for Grand Falls House.

Finding a sustainable future for Grand Falls House and the surrounding properties is the subject of an ongoing study. Locals will be engaged for their input in February.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any quick solution,” said Bryan Blackmore, vice president of a special committee of the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society administering the project.

The project aim is to establish a sustainability plan for the Grand Falls House, the Mill Manager’s House and the adjacent 25-acre property, Blackmore explained to the Advertiser Monday.

The 25 acres of land actually served as a dairy farm at one point.

The properties were part of the expropriation from Abitibi-Bowater on the closing of the paper mill more than five years ago.

“The primary purpose is to have the properties made available to the public,” he added. “They were always private, but they’re a part of our heritage.”

Group ANT Consulting Inc. out of Halifax, Nova Scotia is project lead on sustainability plan

They were named the successful bidder and officially began work in December. Representatives have visited the site and are currently conducting research, Blackmore continued.

The project report will present ideas on adaptive re-use of the buildings and grounds, but a business model will be required as “presently, the place is costing money and we have to find a way to generate money to operate it,” he added.

The subcommittee members meet with the consultants again Jan. 21 via teleconference. That discussion includes fine-tuning details for a community workshop in mid-February.

“The committee will be organizing that and trying to reach out to interested groups and individuals,” Blackmore said. “It’s basically a workshop for gathering ideas.”

Details on the exact time and location of the workshop will be made public once they are finalized.

The end of March is the targeted completion date for the project.

The recommendations from the consultants will then be used by the Heritage Society to develop any long-term plans.

Organizations: Grand Falls House, Heritage Society, ANT Consulting

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Cynthia Hennessey-Lewis
    January 15, 2015 - 17:54

    I really hope this committee and the public can come up with ideas to sustain these properties. It's such a beautiful place that holds so much history for the town. It's also a place that many people of the town have never had the opportunity to see. Just wondering if there was some way to get private investors who would take an interest in it..investing enough to get it up and running as a profitable business that could be self-sustaining in time. There are many prominent families whose roots go back to the town's beginnings. Wondering if they could help out and be a part of bringing this beautiful place back to life. It would be such a loss to see if abandoned. All the best to the committee and a big thank you to everyone working on this project!