The proposed conference center, according to Tssui, would be constructed out of wood and an indestructible compound called GigiCrete. GigiCrete, he said, is a handmixed, rice-based, magnesium organic compound which was invented by an English architect. He explained that GigiCrete is fireproof, mold-and-mildew proof, and bullet proof. He then passed around several samples of GigiCrete surfaces for the audience members to see and feel for themselves.

An audience of 90 people, including both the current and previous mayors of Mount Shasta, came out to the Mount Shasta City Park Dance Hall last Thursday to hear internationally-acclaimed architect Dr. Eugene Tssui present his plans for a “zero-footprint” commercial building to be constructed in the Mt. Shasta area, off of Spring Hill Road.

Tssui calls the proposed project “Mt. Shasta Conference Center & Institute for Job Creation & Restorative Technology.”

During his presentation, Tssui frequently referred to the proposed 20,000 square foot commercial building in the present tense, describing it as if it was already a reality. He said the proposed multi-story structure would take up four acres of its 8-acre parcel, which borders the Abrams Lake Road exit, approximately 25 feet from I-5.

Tssui said that once the landscaping was established, the structure would be virtually undetectable from the freeway, because it would be underground.

The proposed conference center, according to Tssui, would be constructed out of wood and an indestructible compound called GigiCrete. GigiCrete, he said, is a handmixed, rice-based, magnesium organic compound which was invented by an English architect. He explained that GigiCrete is fireproof, mold-and-mildew proof, and bullet proof. He then passed around several samples of GigiCrete surfaces for the audience members to see and feel for themselves.

Elaborating on his plans for the proposed conference center, Tssui told the audience that the 40-foot-deep, virtually indestructible structure would include outdoor garden areas with a centralized waterfall at the entrance, offices, conference rooms and multi-function spaces, a public gathering space with a dance floor, areas for multipurpose activities, a 425-seat theatre, as well as a gymnasium and physical training laboratory.

A award-winning athlete himself, Tssui said he has a personal interest in providing a physical fitness training facility and programs. Tssui is an eight-time Amateur Boxing World Champion, an eight-time Presidential Sports Award winner, and a four-time Senior Olympic Gymnastics All Around Champion.

When the meeting was opened up to a question and answer period, a lively discussion ensued.

The audience voiced their curiosity, opinions, and concerns as to how Tssui’s plans could be implemented and the impact the project might have on the local community. Questions were raised as to the feasibility of some of Tssui’s proposed concepts such as growing edible plants in the soil in that particular area, operating an elevator system in an electricity-free structure, parking issues, and more.

A retired USDA biologist, who has been doing soil testing in the Mt. Shasta area for many years, expressed his skepticism as to the feasibility of being able to grow edible food gardens in the soil on the site of the proposed conference center.

A retired elevator mechanic asked about plans for the elevator system for the proposed electricity-free conference center. Speaking from his years of expertise in the manlift industry, he suggested that a pulley-based elevator system with counter weights would be a viable option for the project.

When asked about costs and project timelines, Tssui projected that construction could be ready to start within two years, and that he is spending $800,000 of his own life savings to get the project started, with an estimated two and a half million total expected cost.

He explained that, given the building materials that would be used, it would be constructed “in the most economical way.”

Having opened the presentation with the dramatic recitation of a poem, Tssui closed his presentation with another famous inspirational poem – “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley. Tssui said that when he feels discouraged, certain poetry – particularly “Invictus,” which means “unconquered” – is an encouragement to him.

For someone whose motto is “Making the Impossible Possible,” it’s understandable that Tssui would seek encouragement from the words of a poem about being unconquered. Especially since the vision for his proposed project is the result of the PhD thesis which he designed and wrote 30 years ago.

Ultimately, Tssui’s motivation behind his idealistic, utopian vision seems to be his desire to create a healthy, zero-footprint building model in the Mt. Shasta area. In his own words, Tssui said, “I just want to do something for this community.”