City hall to be open Tuesday
Staff begin moving back to completely renovated headquarters two years after moving out
Owen Sound staff began moving back into the newly renovated city hall Friday after the city received its full post-construction occupancy permit for the downtown building.
Kristan Shrider, manager of property, said city hall will be open for business again Tuesday morning.
“We feel really good about it,” she said of the refurbished building.
“It’s almost two years to the day that city staff moved over to the Professional Centre.”
Shrider said the city was granted full occupancy Thursday afternoon after a final inspection by Owen Sound’s building department.
About a dozen staff members were to be moved Friday from suites at the Professional Centre – which served as a temporary city hall during renovations – to city hall at 2nd Avenue and 8th Street East.
The rest of the move, along with information technology setup, is to take place Monday, which the city will observe as a holiday for Remembrance Day.
Shrider said the Service Owen Sound desk at the Professional Centre will still be open Tuesday in case people stop by who are unaware that city hall is operating again.
She said some work still has to be completed at city hall to finish up the renovations, but it’s minor and won’t impact staff or visitors.
Owen Sound is planning to hold a grand reopening event Nov. 24 to officially celebrate the completion of the $8.7 million renovation project.
There will be tours starting at 1 p.m., followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening remarks at 2 p.m. and more tours from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Council’s decision to renovate city hall came after the Ministry of Labour issued an order to the city to not use the heating and cooling system in the building due to the presence of mould.
Council was also told that the building was not considered accessible under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, had several breaks in its fire separations that were in violation of the Ontario Building Code and did not have a proper security system.
The building had mould throughout, asbestos, minimal insulation and moisture control, single-pane windows and doors, a deteriorating exterior and a leaky basement.
City staff moved out of city hall so renovation work could begin in November 2016.
The city and project contractor had initially anticipated the project would be substantially completed by March 31, 2018, but that date was pushed back several times.
The discovery and required abatement of more asbestos and mould than was originally anticipated was one of the reasons the project fell behind schedule early on.
The renovation project has involved replacing all of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling and fire alarm systems in the building.
The crawlspace was excavated of sand to accommodate archive storage, a records management system and the building’s mechanical and electrical systems.
Glassed-in, modern boardrooms were also added to both the front and back of the building.
The renovated city hall meets current accessibility standards and includes a new elevator and windows as well as insulation for the exterior walls. It features a modern office environment and is more energy efficient, according to city hall.