City hall renovation in final weeks

With just weeks left before the renovation to Owen Sound city hall is supposed to be complete, the media got a tour of the building on Wednesday. 

The target date for substantial completion remains August 31st but the city's Manager of Property, Kristan Shrider tells Dock News its going to depend on when they get delivery of some critical items that are back ordered. 

Staff kitchen area


Most of the three levels of the new city hall are still very much a construction zone but Shrider says they're working hard to syncronize everything in order to shave off a few weeks from the move-in date. 

She says it will take between 1 and 2 weeks to move the 50 city staffers from the Professional Centre, where they've been since October 2016, to their new office space.

She says 50 people come with a lot of files and boxes and that's going to take some time.

There are also IT requirements needed as they gradually move departments into the new building. 

The $8.7 million dollar project has been plagued by delays for a number of reasons.

The first was the discovery of mould and asbestos during the demolition phase.

One of two new meeting rooms


They also discovered problems with the original footings that didn't match the plans from the 1965 City Hall.

This time, contractors are waiting on the delivery of metal doors which have to be installed before anyone moves in.

Shrider says there's a shortage across the province due to high demand and tariffs on both sides of the border hitting steel and aluminum. 

She says they're looking at ways of condensing the schedule; for instance taking delivery of the furniture while the glass doors are being installed.



Mayor's office


They're also waiting on stone tiles being made at Ledgerock. 

Those are to arrive August 20th and will then have to be installed before certain glass walls can be erected. 

Shrider is very reluctant to point to a date or even a week on the calendar until she knows the delivery dates but says they are still working towards the end of August.



Front desk/reception area


In the meantime, the lease of space at the Professional Centre needs to be paid. 

The contractor has already paid for May, June and July because of the delays but the city will be on the hook for any remaining time in the building which runs $21,000 per month. 

Shrider says they're still ok because they built in a contingency budget within the 8.7 million. 

Its been an extensive project involving the complete replacement of the electrical, mechanical, plumbing and heating and cooling systems.

The crawlspace was also excavated to accommodate records and archive storage.

A couple of new and modern board rooms were added while council chambers and offices were upgraded.

Shrider says the building will be much more energy efficient as well saying nothing was insulated before.

The building will also be much more accessible. 

Once everyone is moved in and has settled in, officials say there will be a public open house.