Regina spending $4M on City Hall renovations

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Renovations to Regina's City Hall totalling $4.2 million are going forward this year even after city council reopened the municipality's budget to deal with a funding shortfall.

The City of Regina says the funds had been approved in 2016 to repair crucial infrastructure in the building.

Jill Hargrove, the city's director of facility management, said the repairs and improvements are part of a 10-year project to renew the main floor of City Hall. There will also be upgrades made to the cafeteria.

Much of the original infrastructure from when City Hall was built in 1977 is still there. The original sewer lines and ventilation system are still in use, for instance, and are approaching the end of their useful life, said Hargrove.

The city went forward with the renovations despite a $10.3-million shortfall it faced following the provincial budget.

"Since we were already in the tender public procurement process, we chose to proceed with this project in order to make sure City Hall remains functioning and available for public service," said Hargrove. 

Upgrading fire suppression, electrical and mechanical systems, as well as making another accessible entrance are part of the current renovations plans. 

"The $4 million itself can't be reallocated. It's necessary to maintain the working conditions and the health and safety of people who work at City Hall and citizens who visit City Hall," said Bob Hawkins, Ward 2 city councillor.  

"In the same way that you have to look after the foundation of your house, the roof of your house, you have to look after the infrastructure of the City Hall. So this is very basic work that needs to be done."