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Major restoration begins on Sechelt's municipal hall amid cost hikes

Phase 1 of Sechelt Hall remediation set to start, addressing urgent repairs with a contracted 20-week timeline
The municipal hall remediation project broken down into phases.

As summer starts, it's hard to imagine preparing for winter but if Sechelt wants to avoid waiting another year to fix its hall, work needs to start soon.   

At Sechelt’s June 19 regular council meeting, the contract for Sechelt’s Municipal Hall and library remediation was awarded to Signia Construction Ltd and staff said it’s time to get under way. 

Julie Maerz, Sechelt engineering project manager said that the construction cost of phase one would be $1,259,170. 

She said the contractor was ready to go and estimated the work would take 20 weeks to complete.

Phase 1 is the southern side of the building, facing the water, and Phase 2 addresses the municipal tower.

Coun. Adam Shepherd noted that a decision to keep or remove the municipal tower is coming up and asked if the contract included work on the tower, which would be wasted money if it ended up being torn down. 

Maerz said the contract does not involve the tower and reiterated that they are working on the “worst side” of the building first and avoiding waiting another winter. 

Coun. Alton Toth asked what the original budget was for Phase 1 and if this quote has any bearing on any cost updates that staff are looking at for future phases.

Maerz said the original budget was $900,000 which has risen by just over $300,000.

“These prices are comparable to what's been happening in Vancouver, based on our engineer's recent tender prices with the cost of being on the Coast,” she said. 

She said that information on future phases will be coming next week and will be reflective of the new costs of getting these new tenders.

Looking at the age of the building, Coun. Darren Inkster said his concern was costs will continue to go up as additional issues are found.

Maerz said in next week’s committee of the whole, options to keep or remove the tower will be discussed. “The concept is that we want to make sure that we're not repairing the building, and then renovating it later to accommodate our existing and future growth.”

She added that Phase 1 is unique in that it can be done before the tower and reiterated that it is in the most critical need for repair. 

Asked if this was a fixed-price contract, Maerz answered that the envelope (windows, exterior elements, cladding) is a fixed price. She added that the cost to handle any rot they find is not under a fixed price.

Funding for phase one would use $1,240,000 from Capital Reserves $350,000 from the Growing Community Fund. 

David Douglas, Sechelt director of finance said the Growing Community Fund would still have around $2 million after funding the project and Capital Reserves would be near $200,000. 

The motions passed unanimously. 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.