Creston’s iconic grain elevators are on a path toward restoration, but one will take considerably more work and funding than the other.
The project is headed by the elevators’ owner, the Columbia Basin Trust. CBT Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits Mark Brunton noted that the CBT has already been on the lookout for the means to preserve and utilize both elevators and to have them eventually serve the community.
“We’ve done an environmental scan as to what kind of government grants and bursaries are out there, and we haven’t seen much,” said Brunton. “It’s still the early days for us in this project. But yes, we’ve done initial looking for partners for both elevators actually.”
In the early spring of 2021, Chandos Construction encased the slightly newer red elevator in scaffolding. Bruton said the interior and exterior of the red elevator will be getting much-needed attention.
“That will support fixing the siding as well as the roof,” said Brunton. “It’s going to take a while, so the scaffolding is going to be there for a number of months. At the same time, we expect to be doing some work on the inside as well. There will be some structural shoring in there and some safety upgrades.”
The white grain elevator on the other hand is in rougher shape. So much so that, according to Brunton, the CBT will need partners to commit to its restoration.
“We’re not sure in the long term what the future will hold,” Brunton added. “If the Trust is going to do something, partners would need to be involved just because of the extreme cost involved.”
With that, Brunton said in the meantime the white elevator’s access points will be secured with each hole patched up.
The CBT purchased both elevators in the early summer of 2018. Since then the CBT assessed the six-storey structures built in 1935 and 1936 respectively. The Trust even looked for local public input by hosting an online “thought-share” regarding how the elevators may serve the community long-term.
As Brunton pointed out, the CBT’s focus is restoring the red elevator while the white elevator’s future lies in the hands of a potential partnership that has yet to be inked.