A proposed archway on Johnston Road at the uptown entrance to White Rock could become a million-dollar project, according to a staff report being presented to council tonight (Monday).
The city’s Public Art Advisory Committee was looking for council to determine a budget amount and provide more details of its vision for a gateway public art project, before going ahead with a public call for artists to submit proposals. In discussion at the committee level, it was suggested that such an archway might cost as much as $500,000.
Council authorized a staff report last week. The report came back with a suggestion that $1 million be allocated for the project – termed the Johnston Road Gateway Feature – which is part of the broader Johnston Road Streetscape Revitalization project.
According to the report, from engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon, planning and development services director Carl Johannsen and recreation and culture director Eric Stepura, the proposed steel and masonry archway, including backlit signage, will “create an inviting and artistic entrance to the main vehicular, pedestrian and transit entry point into the City and increase the resident and tourist draw to the Johnston Road ‘cultural corridor’ and the town centre/uptown area.”
The report says that the price tag is derived from the estimated $1 million for a gateway/welcoming entrance feature in a plan for placement of public art presented to council on June 12 of last year.
It also notes that gateway examples being considered as models for the city’s project are at least two years old, with most of them from the U.S.
Costs for some of the examples were not obtainable in time for the report, it says, adding that those that were have been converted into Canadian dollars.
“It is likely that some of the more ornate archway designs cost above $500,000,” the report states.
While estimating the overall cost at between $500,000 and $1 million, depending on bids submitted, the report advocates allocating “up to $1 million” from community amenity contributions (CACs) that are expected to be received from developers by the end of this month.
It suggests that the funds – already budgeted for 2021 East Beach shoreline protection and promenade project work – be reallocated to the Johnston Road gateway project, to be replaced from future CACs.
It also suggests that a request for proposal for design, creation and installation of the feature be issued, and that council establish a new selection committee to evaluate and recommend a gateway feature design for council consideration.
Another report to be considered tonight – on a matter also referred to the city for guidance by the Public Art Advisory Committee – advocates allocating up to $100,000 to a public art piece at the Peace Arch Hospital courtyard that would recognize the contributions of the women of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary for their fundraising for building and improving the facility over the years.