City hall to be open Tues­day

Staff be­gin mov­ing back to com­pletely ren­o­vated head­quar­ters two years af­ter mov­ing out

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - FRONT PAGE - DE­NIS LAN­GLOIS

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.

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