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City of Nanaimo will look at replacing all the Port Theatre’s windows next year

Replacement of 199 windows would cost $750,000, staff reports
The Port Theatre. (News Bulletin file photo)

The City of Nanaimo and the Port Theatre are going back to the drawing board with the theatre’s windows.

City councillors were advised at a finance and audit meeting this month that a project to replace 199 windows at the venue, at a cost of $750,000, will be added to capital plan decision-making when budgeting starts in the fall.

City staff reported that the windows started failing about 10 years after the facility opened and 121 windows were replaced between 2008-2014, with plans to replace more windows in 2016 cancelled due to manufacturing issues. The staff report details oxidation and cracks.

“It has been a design issue and a product issue we’ve dealt with in that building, the Port Theatre, for a number of years,” said Richard Harding, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture.

The staff report notes that the theatre’s windows are “breathable” insulated glass units that “are far more sophisticated than regular residential windows as they are built with performance specifications that are important for a performance theatre.”

The report says the city looked into triple-glazed windows, but their weight would have required additional anchors in the window frames that was deemed “too cost-prohibitive.”

In recent years the city and Port Theatre staff have met with the venue’s original architect and staff conclude that replacing all the windows represents a “long-term solution [that] would result in the restoration of the intended design and performance.”

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