After many years of hard work, the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary completed its expansion and earned a VIREB commercial building award in the process. (Submitted photo)

After many years of hard work, the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary completed its expansion and earned a VIREB commercial building award in the process. (Submitted photo)

Ladysmith Thrift Store wins VIREB commercial building award for best renovation

The renovated space was unveiled on November 14, 2020

The Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store has won the VIREB commercial building award for best renovation.

The Health Care Auxiliary commenced renovation work at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with Qualicum-based construction company MKM Projects Ltd. Jack Anderson, owner of Anderson Green Plan — a community planning and architectural firm in Cedar — designed the newly renovated space. Project work was also carried out by Waymark Architecture.

RELATED: Ladysmith Healthcare Auxiliary completes long-awaited Thrift Store expansion

And it was no small feat. The Health Care Auxiliary planned an addition of more than 3,000 square feet. The new building is used as a space for volunteers to sort community donations, as the previous space was too small for the huge volume of donations that get dropped off at the thrift store every day. The new space has also opened up additional space for retail in the previous volunteer sorting space.

After eight months of renovation, the Thrift Store’s new space was opened on November 14, 2020.

Pam Fraser was the lead on the renovation for the Health Care Auxiliary. She says that customers and volunteers are both loving the new renovation.

“It’s improved certainly, other than the fact that our hours are shorter and there’s a limited number of people who can come in due to COVID.”

The Health Care Auxiliary has been operating a thrift store at 910 1st Avenue since 1990 and set about expansion plans in 2010. They purchased the house next door in 2011 for future expansion. In 2016 we started the long process of planning, zoning changes and permit gathering.

“There were a few sleepless nights, but it all came through in the end,” Fraser said.