In AGM

Rebuilding the CCF Visitor Centre

Bruce-and-Laurie-AGM-QA-1024x204Annual General Meeting, January 18, 2014 (via teleconference)

Question 1:

I read that the CCF Visitor Centre recently burned down. Can you tell us about any plans to rebuild?

Bruce:
It was definitely a sad occurrence in the history of CCF. Thankfully, our staff reacted instantly and a lot of material was saved; most importantly though, I can report that there was no injury to our staff or to any of our animals.

Cheetah Conservation Fund’s International Field Research and Education Centre.

A well-known face – the cheetah that welcomes thousands of visitors to the CCF’s International Field Research and Education Centre – burns.
(Photo courtesy of CCF / Patricia Tricorache)

We are now able to look at the fire as an opportunity rather than solely a tragedy. We have an approved plan to rebuild, and that plan is one that will see all current functions replaced plus will include a significant upgrade in our life sciences and genetics lab. This will give the public a much better view into our intensive scientific research.

Much has already been completed: Public toilets have been replaced as a standalone unit; the Reception and Gift Shop areas have been moved into a wing of the Education Centre; the space where the CCF Visitor Centre once stood has completely been cleared; and an office has been renovated into a Café/Kitchen which is functioning quite well in offering food service for our guests.

Cheetah Conservation Fund’s International Field Research and Education Centre.

Two days after a fire consumed the building, staff had worked tirelessly to remove nearly all debris around the building. (Photo courtesy of CCF / Patricia Tricorache)

We are awaiting bids for the major part of the renovations, and anticipate the cost to rebuild will come in $300,000 Cdn, perhaps a little bit higher. While this is more than the insurance pay-out will be, we believe the incremental cost will be manageable. We look forward to picking a contractor soon, and hope to be operational for our busy season starting in June.

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*Please note that we have edited Laurie’s and Bruce’s answers slightly for presentation here.