Whitehorse city hall's big makeover part of 2021 capital budget

·2 min read

Some familiar city-owned sites in Whitehorse are undergoing a makeover in the next year or two.

The city's capital budget for 2021 is now up for consultation with input from the public to be read into the record by city staff at the Nov. 23 city council meeting.

The budget tabled at the Nov. 9 council meeting is just shy of $31 million.

But Mayor Dan Curtis said Monday that could grow to more than $42 million if federal infrastructure money comes through for additional projects.

The biggest project is renovating and expanding the existing city hall on Second Avenue as part of consolidating city services into two major sites.

City of Whitehorse
City of Whitehorse

Construction begins next year with just over $19 million budgeted for the project over the next two years. The expansion will be built over the site of the former downtown fire hall. It will also include a new facade completely changing the look of city hall.

The cenotaph in front of city hall may be moved around the corner onto the Steele Street side of the building, and placed in a small park.

The new operations building opened in September with employees and equipment relocating from the municipal services building on Fourth Avenue and other locations.

The remaining employees at the municipal services building will move into the new city hall. The old building will be demolished and contaminants in the soil cleaned up. The most likely use for that land will be housing, said Curtis.

"So we're hoping that whatever it costs to clean that area up when we sell it, we'll be able to kind of be flush and then being able to open that up to, you know, to some developers within our community and see if we can expand some living opportunities," Curtis said.

Another major project will be a new building at Robert Service campground on Robert Service Way. It will include rental space for events.

The transit service will begin setting up an app next year that will let riders track their bus online and it also wants to install an electronic payment system on the buses.