Military Communications and Electronics Museum | Musée de L'électronique et des communications militaires

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History of the C & E Museum

New Building Project

INTRODUCTION

The "Military Communications and Electronics Museum" (Museum) is an accredited museum of the Department of National Defence (DND). The Museum's role is to educate members of the military and of the general public about the people, the events and the technologies involved in Canadian military communications and electronics. Opened in 1963, the Museum has an extensive artifact and archival collection and has experienced substantial visitation increases, massive collection growth and international recognition as a educational resource. As a result, the Museum's original accommodation at Canadian Forces Base Kingston became our major limiting factor. Our facilities were simply too small, too inaccessible and failed to meet museological standards.

In 1987, we initiated a project to upgrade our Museum. Internal and consultant studies examined Museum to ensure that it could achieve its full potential as a military, educational, community and tourism resource. Organizational restructuring, finding new accommodation, upgraded collection management and development of new displays accessible to all Canadians were recommended and implemented. A new building, designed to modern museological standards, was identified as the most efficient solution to the accommodation problem.

DESIGN

On 6 October 1993 tenders closed for building design and construction management. Four architects submitted proposals while Defence Construction (1951) Limited bid for construction management only. On 17 November 1993, Sears and Russell Architects/Dunlop Farrow Inc, were awarded the contract for $381,500 (plus associated costs). Architectural work is completed.

CONSTRUCTION

On 15 July 1994, our architects invited bids from five contractors with proven records with both the architects and with our Base Construction Engineers. Tenders closed on 9 August 1994. . Four submitted bids however one late bid was not accepted. On 14 September 1994, T.A. Andre & Sons (Ontario) Limited was awarded the contract for $3,716,484. To date, cost over runs are 2.7%. As of this date construction is completed and only $10,014.78 remains to be certified by the architects and paid. The substantial completion certificate was issued 1 November 1995 and only minor mechanical systems adjustments are outstanding, some of which had to wait until warm weather.

THE NEW MUSEUM

In November 1995 the offices, archive and workshops were moved, artifact centralization and relocation was begun and the new conference centre set up. Display construction began on 13 November 1995. Artifact relocation was completed in mid February. The official opening was 17 May 1996. At that time while display development was incomplete enough displays were in place to create a worthwhile history trail. Follow on displays will, in themselves, create interest for visitors.

The new Museum is a major year-round educational facility and tourism attraction. An exciting aspect of this new museum will be its "Showcase of the Future" where Canada's electronics industry can display leading edge technology in an educational forum. Admission to the new facility is FREE although donations are encouraged.