From an engineering perspective driving piles into the ground at the site chosen for the Cultural Center is very doable, as a matter of fact is essential if any stability is to be attained.
I think from memory Nain has only one structure built on any sort of rock base, that being the electrical power generating building (Hydro Building to the locals).
The rest of the land where the town is located is just a mixture of sand, fine and very little soil and fine crushed rock. Many places when disturbed is just ooze.
There are rocky outcrops but these are steep and not really suitable for putting structures on, the cost prohibitive thing comes into play.
Since my arrival here I have always been astounded at the half arse shoddy way concrete foundations have been prepared and poured, how sites have been prepared and how larger buildings have never had piles or piers put into the ground.
Many homes and larger buildings have deteriorated way ahead of there expected life span, some larger buildings have cost tens of thousands and in one case millions of dollars to rectify.
The number one reason given for not doing it right in the first place has always been, cost prohibitive.
Mind you things have improves over the last decade, but things are still not as they should be for lasting structures.
So if the Cultural Center is to have any sort of life span it is essential to do it right in the first place, especially seeing as there is so much glass in the front section of the building. If the building starts moving, well stand back, and think of the expense replacing glass.
The real question I think is, why build it at this site?
There has not been a reasonable answer forthcoming as yet. At least two other sites were offered up by the Nain Inuit Community Government. These were rejected.
There are other sites along the water front of Nain if the proponents are gung ho on having the building in a prime water front location.
The site chosen is arguably the most vulnerable of all possible locations to surface and ground water from both the land side and the harbor side.
The community government had the power to say no, they chose not to.
I am told that 19 piers are to be driven into the ground and the structure place on top. What method of doing this is not known to me.
The ground around the structure will be built up around three meters from sea level with a three tear burn sloping down to the water.
Cost prohibitive does not seem to play a role in this instance.
Can a fledgling government with limited means of raising revenue afford this type if expense with so many other social, health and cultural issues being ignored, or put on hold due to cost prohibitive-ness?
The cost estimates for this building has risen from 12 to 14 million in a short time, I do not expect that that would be the final cost.
Another thing to consider is the upkeep and maintenance of the surrounds and the building itself over the long term.
Also the heating costs and air-conditioning. It is supposed to house artifacts and manuscripts that will require precise temperature control.
With such a large expanse of glass facing east you can bet it will get uncomfortably hot inside in the summer months.
With all the hoopla and claims being made about this building, and knowing the history of building large structures in town, and the environmental sensitivity of the shoreline of Nain, I am amazed that public discourse and inclusion was not undertaken by council and proponents.
On the weather front: it has been a great first two days of the long weekend. Sunny to cloudy with nice west'ish winds. Great weather for almost every form of outdoor activity.