Several upgrades have unanimously been approved at various municipal buildings across Chatham-Kent.
On May 31, council voted unanimously to pass $3.4 million worth of essential priority building lifecycle projects. The municipal Asset Management Department is responsible for 115 municipal buildings. According to the staff report to council, every year, the Asset Management Team, in consultation with representatives from all departments occupying the buildings, prioritizes the building lifecycle projects that need to be completed.
“A master list of potential lifecycle projects was compiled from requests from various departments occupying the affected municipal buildings and priorities identified by the Asset Management Department,” reads the report. “Additional consideration was given to projects identified but not completed during previous years.”
According to the report, lifecycle demands have increased due to a number of legislated requirements, as well as ageing infrastructure. Additionally, there is also a need to address security issues within municipally-owned buildings.
On the list for several upgrades and repairs is the Capitol Theatre in Chatham. A list of repairs includes exterior stucco repairs, interior painting, upgrades to the PA system, live streaming upgrades, acoustic shell upgrades and upgrades to the loading dock lighting.
All 11 of Chatham-Kent’s library branches are also included on the upgrade and repair list. Ridgetown Library will receive painted exterior window frames, window repair and a new vent for the furnace room door, as well as new gravel for the driveway.
Fire and police stations across the municipality are also set to receive repairs. The fire station in Ridgetown would receive parking lot repairs and interior renovation, while the EMS station would receive interior painting.
Other upgrades in Ridgetown include Ridgetown Erie Street Public Works garages receiving new garage doors. The Ridge House Museum will receive several upgrades, including the removal of an old well and landscape area, repainting of the front porch, replacement of two windows and repair and repaint of fencing.
The Chatham-Kent Health and Family Services is also noted to receive several upgrades. This includes replacing the HVAC system on the first floor, upgrading the elevators, upgrading the building’s outdoor signage and installing a new wheelchair ramp and awning.
The report also notes the costs of each individual project are not made public in order to ensure a competitive bid process.
The 2021 building lifecycle priority projects will be funded from the Building Lifecycle Reserves.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News