Public works su­per­vi­sor de­fends laun­dry room

More de­tails re­leased on Car­bon­ear’s new works de­pot de­sign

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Car­bon­ear’s de­ci­sion to in­clude a laun­dry fa­cil­ity in its new public works fa­cil­ity on Goff Av­enue has been met by crit­i­cism from some town res­i­dents.

But Direc­tor of Public Works Brian O’Grady was quick to de­fend the ad­di­tion, and gave a more de­tailed look into what the new fa­cil­ity will in­clude.

For sev­eral years, the town coun­cil has been fight­ing for a new public works yard be­cause the cur­rent one lo­cated on Ban­ner­man Street has been out­grown. The yard houses all the heavy equip­ment, the for­mer mu­nic­i­pal build­ing and a two-bay garage.

In the past five years, an ex­ca­va­tor, as­phalt re­cy­cler and sev­eral other pieces of ma­chin­ery have been added to the in­ven­tory.

The down­stairs of the for­mer mu­nic­i­pal build­ing has been used as a lunch­room for the em­ploy­ees since 1998, when the Con­cep­tion Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre opened its doors.

The up­stairs is used by the fire depart­ment and has been turned into a maze for train­ing.

But the new de­pot will have some more ad­di­tions that are not found in the cur­rent lo­ca­tion. O’Grady ex­plained, when you grow and ex­pand, you need to ac­com­mo­date the added needs.

Why laun­dry?

When the pre­vi­ous story was pub­lished about the new de­pot, public works em­ploy­ees be­gan talk­ing about the crit­i­cism be­ing re­ceived about the laun­dry fa­cil­ity.

O’Grady con­firmed there had been some chat­ter, but has brushed it off. He did, how­ever, con­firm the washer and dryer will be a vi­tal part of the de­pot.

Staff work with a va­ri­ety of chem­i­cals and sewer sys­tems daily. This in­creases their risk for ex­po­sure. The pos­si­bil­ity of a spill is real, and O’Grady wanted to en­sure if there was an is­sue, it could be dealt with im­me­di­ately.

“If some­one gets doused, they can take off their cov­er­alls and toss them in the washer,” he said.

One com­ment on the ar­ti­cle men­tioned us­ing the laun­dry fa­cil­ity for the worker’s own dirty clothes, but that is not the in­ten­tion.

“I don’t ex­pect peo­ple to bring laun­dry from home,” O’Grady laughed.

Fe­male wash­room

That is the same rea­son why there will be a shower lo­cated in a fe­male wash­room on site. It can be used in emer­gen­cies if some­one gets sprayed or cov­ered in chem­i­cals.

But why is there a fe­male wash­room for a group of all­male staff ?

“We needed a sec­ond bath­room if we end up get­ting fe­male em­ploy­ees,” O’Grady said. He is con­fi­dent the day is com­ing a fe­male will be em­ployed in the work yard.

Ba­sic lay­out

A rough CAD drawing has been on O’Grady’s desk since last month, and he showed The Compass what else is go­ing to be in­cluded in the build­ing.

The new lunch­room is larger than the cur­rent one, and will al­low for the ad­di­tion of new em­ploy­ees. Ameni­ties are ex­pected to be the same — mi­crowave, sink and a fridge. There will be a range as well, un­like in the cur­rent lo­ca­tion.

A locker room will also be a new ad­di­tion, where em­ploy­ees can keep their spare cov­er­alls, con­struc­tion vests and other things they don’t want to keep on them dur­ing the work day. A porch was turned into a space to keep coats and other per­sonal items at the Ban­ner­man Street lo­ca­tion.

There will also be sev­eral of­fices at the front of the build­ing, in­clud­ing one for O’Grady, a tool room, stor­age space for wa­ter and sewer sup­plies and a car­pen­try shop.

A two-bay heated garage for equip­ment main­te­nance will also be in­cluded.

All of the above men­tioned will cover ap­prox­i­mately 800 square me­tres of the 1,200 square me­tre fa­cil­ity.

The re­main­ing 400 will be an un­heated stor­age fa­cil­ity.

“The un­heated stor­age will be for lots of lit­tle things, but mostly for all the gear that we can’t store out­side,” O’Grady noted, giv­ing the re­cy­cler as an ex­am­ple.

Be­gin­ning soon

O’Grady would ide­ally like to see the con­struc­tion begin im­me­di­ately, but be­cause of the size of the fa­cil­ity, the town must hire an ar­chi­tect to de­sign the struc­ture.

“It has now been ap­proved by coun­cil to so­licit the as­sis­tance of an ar­chi­tect,” he said. “Once we get the size and de­sign done, we can work on quotes.”

It was ob­vi­ous O’Grady be­lieves the ex­tra space is go­ing to be ben­e­fi­cial, but he was just as con­cerned as mov­ing from the cur­rent lo­ca­tion into an industrial park.

“We’ll be mov­ing out of down­town, so we’ll get out of a res­i­den­tial area,” he said. “I’d like to see it sooner rather than later.”

When asked what the build­ing would look like, O’Grady smiled.

“It will have nice curb ap­peal and aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing to the area,” he said.

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