Thunderbird Dorms – Day 1


On Monday March 30 we officially (and symbolically) ‘broke ground’ on the latest project under the Haven Facilities Masterplan, the conversion of three of the rooms in the Thunderbird building to purpose built dorms. Pictured here is Project Manager Vince Iameo of Architrave Design Build on Gabriola and The Haven’s Housekeeping and Facilities Project Manager, Nellie Bonin. Both were closely involved with the Masterplan and are excited to see this project come into being.

The need for dorms became clear to us as we were developing the Facilities Masterplan. Every year in the summer we struggle to provide high quality, high density accommodation for our growing numbers of youth leaders. Through the rest of the year, we want to offer a range of accommodation options to make it possible for as many participants as possible to stay at The Haven. Sharing accommodation has been an option at The Haven since its founding, and many lifelong friendships have come about in this way, not to mention frequent opportunities to practice the Communication Model!

As with so many of our projects, we are able to move forward thanks to the generous support of a donor. David Beckwermert, a long-time friend of The Haven as a participant, parent and major donor, has gifted us with the budget for this project. In discussions with David, he shared how much he benefitted from the experience of sharing a room at The Haven, despite some initial resistance! So the creation of the Thunderbird dorms seemed like a perfect fit with his aspiration that The Haven should continue to thrive.

Three of the rooms in Thunderbird will be converted into purpose built and comfortable dorms, with three separate bathroom blocks. The plans have been created with privacy and comfort as important fundamental principles. The Thunderbird building is one that the Facilities Masterplan intended to remain in place for the foreseeable future, as its foundations house the second biggest water cistern on the property, so it is a vital part of our water infrastructure. It was also one of the last buildings to be constructed during the ‘construction boom’ during the first 12 years of The Haven, so it is well constructed and built to recent code specifications.

We will keep you updated with progress as the project unfolds. The dorms will be ready in time to welcome our guests in the summer.

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