City hall will be shuffling the deck in a move that will see the Volunteer Centre re-located as well as the city’s technology department.
The Volunteer Centre will be moved across the street to an unoccupied space in the Enterprise Centre which faces Alder Street while the information technology (IT) department will take over the Volunteer Centre’s space in the basement of city hall.
The move will cost the city $82,000 with $24,000 of that to be spent on renovating the Enterprise Centre space with new painting, carpeting, signage, a more welcoming back entrance and hallway, and lighting, such as skylights.
The money will come from the city’s facilities reserve.
Coun. Larry Samson said the volunteers are looking forward to the 75 per cent increase in space that comes with the move.
“In talking to them, they are acceptable to this move and they are excited somewhat,” Samson said.
The re-location is necessary because of cramped quarters in city hall.
Currently, the IT department shares a quadrant with the finance department which means 22 staff are occupying the same area – the highest concentration in any quadrant of city hall.
Jason Decksheimer, the city’s asset management supervisor, said having the IT and finance department in a shared space has also presented security concerns.
“Due to the nature of the IT department’s workload and the continual coming and going of staff, contractors and others to their office through the finance department offices, finance staff are not able to maintain the security of the area as it relates to financial files, cash and cash instruments, and cheque processing,” said Decksheimer in a report to council, adding there is also a “reduced ability to have confidential or semi-private discussions or phone calls.”
Decksheimer said it was discussed to move IT to the Enterprise Centre instead of the Volunteer Centre, however, it was determined that it would be difficult to move computers and technology between the two buildings, plus most of the department’s internal clients work in city hall which would require continual trips back and forth.
Council, with the exception of Mayor Walter Jakeway, approved the move.
Following the vote, Samson put forward a motion to allocate $5,000 from city council’s contingency fund to the Volunteer Centre and the Community Arts Council to incorporate public art into the new Volunteer Centre space.
“As you come down Alder Street you see a brown, beige industrial style building with metal sheeting on the side,” Samson said.
“And I think it’s important that this building be welcoming from the outside as well as the inside and I think nothing says that better than public art.”
Council agreed and approved the public art along with the move.