Troy Biggs

City hall renovations expected to be finished by spring

Renovations at city hall are expected to be finished by mid-April, with a total cost of about $465,000.

Renovations at city hall are expected to be finished by mid-April, with a total cost of about $465,000.

I got shown the interior of the ground floor of city hall last week. What I saw was an empty office, waiting for work to be done. The demolition was complete and two large holes were in the wall waiting for windows.

My visit was a result of an inquiry about the progress of renovations. My main question was why the Second Street entrance was still covered by an orange tarp. That resulted in an invitation to city hall.

Darren Komonoski, the public works operations manager, and Troy Biggs, the building maintenance supervisor, were there to greet me.

The work being done has two components — the exterior and interior. The exterior work includes the landscaping, widening the sidewalk and building a proper ramp to make it wheelchair accessible.

The work was completed before winter but the entrance is covered by the tarp until the interior work is finished.

“Once everything is 100 per cent complete then that’s all coming down,” Biggs said.

The interior is proceeding apace. It was mostly an empty room when I visited on Wednesday, Jan. 21, but Biggs said work should proceed quickly now that the designs were finalized.

I was shown drawings of the planned layout for what will be the home of the engineering and development services department.

This architectural drawing shows the plans for the inside of city hall. The Second Street entrance is located at the bottom of the image. City of Revelstoke image.

A large curving desk will be at the entrance. To the right upon entering the building will be a meeting room. Mike Thomas, the director of engineering and development; and Dean Strachan, the planning manager, will have offices at the back left corner of the space. The rest of the room will be an open-concept area, with cubicles around the side. There will be two large windows facing Second Street, designed to mimic the time when the building was used as the fire hall.

A ramp will lead from the office to the finance department upstairs. The plans also include space for an elevator, though that has yet to be budgeted. Also in the long-term plans are moving council chambers into city hall, and replacing the exterior stucco, an issue that’s been the subject of discussion for years.

The city has spent $245,000 out of $315,000 that was budgeted in 2014 on the renovations so far. The cost includes the exterior and interior work. Another $150,000 will be requested in the 2015 budget for the furnishings and some of the glasswork, said Komonoski. Other projects like the elevator, moving council chambers and the stucco are in the works.

The city received $30,000 from the tourism infrastructure fund to help pay for the exterior work.

Most of the work will be done by contractors, though city staff are being used for some jobs.

The renovations have been going on for about 1.5 years now. They were started in the summer of 2013 but stalled when the city ran out of money to complete the work.

Work started on the exterior upgrades in August and on the interior in November.

Visit the Times Review website to see drawings of the interior and exterior plans.

 

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