New Strathmore town hall close to completion

·3 min read

The new Strathmore municipal building is nearing completion, with the town finding solutions for a few remaining pieces.

An update on the project was presented to town council on Nov. 18 by Michael Stamhuis, the town’s special projects manager. The project is now in its “substantial completion” stage, meaning the building and work site are sufficiently completed such that they can now be handed over to, and occupied by, the town.

The cost of the building has been updated to total $14.48 million, $130,000 less than the cost projected in mid-October. The final project costs will be more than $400,000 below the funding allocated for the project, reported Stamhuis. A report will be forthcoming presenting suggestions for how this surplus may be allocated. One of the options would be to set aside an amount for any issues that may arise, he said.

Some uncertainties remain for the project.

“While the project is substantially completed, it is not totally complete; there are some outstanding items,” said Stamhuis, who added these include the installation of audio-visual equipment, signage and furniture.

All tenders for furniture and audio-visual equipment have been received, the cost of which is less than the $850,000 allocated for these components. The cost estimate for soft costs and furniture, fixtures and equipment decreased by $21,000, to $2.325 million.

The audio-visual equipment was to be stored in a closet within the council chambers, but the consultant said it would generate too much heat to be stored there safely. So, the town is considering either installing a ventilation system for the closet or moving the equipment to the server room.

The estimated cost for site servicing and rehabilitation has been revised to $2.599 million, representing a decrease of $16,000 from previous estimates. This reduction is due to a decrease in staff salary allocation (by $6,000) and reconciliation of consultant fees ($10,000).

The total cost of the Strathmore Commons and north Kinsmen improvements is $1.675 million, equaling a reduction of $92,000 from prior estimates. The town saved money on soil disposal because the soil from site clearing was used on-site and hauling costs were minimal, resulting in a $92,000 cost reduction.

Also during the meeting, a report was presented to council illustrating how the municipal building project resulted in improvements to several of the town’s assets beyond the new building itself. This assessment determined that of the approximately $14.5 million spent on the municipal building project, about $3.1 million can be attributed to Kinsmen Park and other site improvements. As such, about $11.3 million can be attributed to the building itself.

According to Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule, this second report gives a more accurate picture of the cost of the new town hall building.

“Obviously, some of those assets are tied to the new building, but some of them benefit and are tied to other parts of that project,” he said.

The town is planning on having staff move belongings into the new building in late December and begin working there in the new year.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times