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A Grand Old Hall…

Copper Island Fine Homes couldn’t be prouder to play a leading role in the renewal of one of the Shuswap’s most iconic rural buildings—the Eagle Bay Community Hall.

The building’s history dates back to the 50s. Prior to then, people from Eagle Bay and other places around the lake gathered informally at the old schoolhouse. When the schoolhouse was sold in 1948, the need for a new community facility became evident. In 1950, a meeting was held to discuss construction of a new hall. Plans were made, a parcel of land was donated by the Coates family, and volunteers worked tirelessly on the project. A few years later, it was finally completed and opened to great fanfare.

In the 70-plus years since opening, the hall has been the site of many joyous occasions ranging from dances, parties, weddings, receptions, and music and theatre events. Over the years, it was expanded to include a kitchen, games room, bar, cloakroom, covered entrance, and indoor washroom facilities.

In recent years, with the area’s growing population, the need grew to once again expand and modernize the hall. Plans were drawn up to update the existing bathrooms, build a new wheelchair accessible bathroom, extend and renovate the kitchen to allow for use by larger groups, and create a covered serving area between the kitchen and the outside of the hall. Funding began pouring in from dozens of individual and corporate donors. Meanwhile, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District stepped to the plate with a grant to cover much of the costs, and also committed to building a new outdoor play park at the rear of the hall.

The nature of the grant required that work begin as soon as possible, and that’s where Copper Island came into the picture.

“Several members of the Eagle Bay Community Association had homes built by our company, and they wanted a reputable contractor and recommended us to the board,” explains Marcus Picton, Copper Island CEO. “We decided to help, as we want to continue our tradition of being a company that contributes and helps the local community. They were in a time crunch to make this happen at a quiet time of year, and needed to access grant funding that was available for a limited time, so despite our hectic schedule, we agreed to push this forward as quickly as possible for them.”

After waiving our Design Build Agreement fee, we got to work as soon as plans were finalized and permits granted, and now find ourselves in the midst of exciting construction and renewal work. When we’re done, much of the facility will have a new, modern look and feel. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that it continues to be operated and maintained by volunteers.

“It’s an inspiring project for our entire team to work on,” says Picton. “It’s a reminder of just how vital community is, and so we actually feel very grateful to be doing this important work. Anyone driving by and seeing the work as it progresses might think we’re leading this project, but the reality is that a far more important leadership role has been played by the incredible members of this community who persevered and got the ball rolling.”

Watch for project updates and photos in coming months.