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  Prairie Theatre Exchange Interior Fit UpPrairie Theatre Exchange Interior Fit Up

Construction Manager & Cost Estimator

GWH Construction Management Services, Ltd.
419 Laidlaw Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB R3P 0K8

General Description

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba CANADA
Date Bid: May 2011 Construction Period: June 2011 to Oct 2012
Total Square Feet: 19,344 Site: -
Number of Buildings: One; Interior Renovation
Building Size: First floor, 9,052; second floor, 10,292; total, 19,344 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 15’; second floor, 18’; total, 33’.
Basic Construction Type: Renovation.
Foundation: N/A. Exterior Walls: N/A. Roof: N/A. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

Project Team

Architect: Les Stechesen Architect - 601 Jessie Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3L 0R1
Structural Engineer: Hanuschuk Engineering, Ltd. - 26 Edmonton Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1P7
Mechanical & Electrical (Phase 1) Engineer: Nova 3 Engineering, Ltd. - 201-120 Fort Street, #201, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1C7
Electrical Engineer (Phase 2): MCW/AGE Consulting Professional Engineers - 210-1821 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0G4
Interior Designer: Jan Ash and Associates, Ltd. - 1 Nanton Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M8

Prairie Theatre Exchange undertook an extensive renovation over the summers of 2011 and 2012. The goal of the project was to renovate and refresh the not-for-profit arts facility for the first time since moving into its unique home - the third floor of a downtown shopping mall - in 1989.

PTE operates a live theatre season, a theatre school with classes of all ages and rents space to the public and all these needs were taken into consideration when planning and executing the project. Working in a mall presented challenges of planning work so that it did not interrupt the other tenants.

A new lounge and expanded lobby were desperately needed but required creativity to find the solution within its existing footprint. The entire lobby and a studio located immediately behind it were completely gutted. The studio was transformed into a welcoming and functional lounge with a stand-alone bar. To increase the usefulness an articulated doors system was installed on two walls with glass insets. This offers the feeling of space and access to natural light when closed and dramatically opens up onto the main lobby when the two walls of doors are folded back and stacked.

Cork flooring throughout the main level adds warmth to offset the clean glass walls and white painted walls and ceiling. The existing floor was not level and rose up at the entrances to the main stage theatre and other areas causing some mobility issues with patrons. The option to level the floor was taken and now the only rise is at the front entrance.

Energy efficiency and impact upon the environment was a key factor in decisions made, wherever possible lights were upgraded with new energy efficient options. The theatre seating frames were re-used with only the fabric and the foam stuffing being replaced. Low flow toilets were installed and will greatly lessen the water use. Low VOC paint was used throughout and old carpet tiles were replaced with an environmentally friendly choice.

A sparkling new boardroom was created by reconfiguring space after demolishing two offices and an adjacent underutilized storage space. The new boardroom now takes advantage of the vista that looks onto the mall's atrium and water fountain and will be a pleasant place for meeting and a key rental location.

One studio - used by the theatre school - was renovated with new lights, and carpet to function as a film and television classroom. Washrooms and our ticket booth were upgraded to provide full handicapped accessibility. Another space will become a library and dedicated work centre for local playwrights to work on their craft.

The entire project has achieved its goal of increasing the comfort, function and efficiency for the theatre and for the patrons to visit.

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