The second phase of the North Saanich Municipal Hall renovations are underway and town officials say the project is both on-time and on-budget.
Rob Buchan, the municipality’s CAO, said minus the discovery of a hazardous building material during deconstruction of the second phase, things have gone smoothly so far.
“When they started deconstructing the second phase, they found vermiculite which had to be removed very carefully, essentially one small piece of wall at a time,” explained Buchan.
“They’ve now finished that and knocked down the building completely, the foundation footings have been poured and foundation walls should be completed this week with framing to begin very soon. All in all, we’re only looking at about a six week delay because of it,” he said.
The work will remedy several problems with the building, including decay, structural and plumbing deficiencies and improve its ability to withstand an earthquake. The original portion of the municipal office was built in 1973, with other sections added throughout the 80s and 90s. An assessment of the structure in early 2015 revealed extensive rot and mould.
Construction on the first phase began in December 2015, Buchan explained, and was completed in July.
“Once the first phase was completed, we were able to move into the new wing,” he said, adding that they expect to be able to move into the second phase in April, which will be when the new council chambers open.
The work, which is being done by Verity Construction, along with remaining mostly on schedule, has remained on budget, Buchan said.
“This project has a stipulated price contract, so we pay the agreed price unless there’s an unforeseen condition. The budget is $2.5 million with council having added a $95,000 contingency and at this point in time, unless there are any decisions to change anything, I don’t foresee us going over budget,” he said.
Buchan said the District feels that the project reflects good value per dollar for the community, with added long-term benefits like new solar panels and a battery back-up system to provide a constant power supply in case of a power outage or emergency.
“I think staff are quite enjoying the new space and we’re looking forward to the completion in the spring,” he said.
There will be a grand opening once the project is complete, on a date to be determined as the hall gets closer to being finished.