Oct 23, 2012 / 7:38 am
Much needed renovations can now go ahead after Kelowna City Hall agreed to spend an additional $400,000 Monday.
Renovations to the second and third floors are expected to begin before the end of the current calendar year.
The renovation project was initially pegged to cost $1.6 million with $1.22 million coming from insurance money for the City Park Pavilion, which burned to the ground more than 18 months ago.
The additional $380,000 was approved by council back in April.
Design and construction services manager Kevin Van Vliet says the renovation plans changed in May, bringing the cost of the project to $2M.
"The key change is to move city clerks from the third floor to the second floor - to improve their accessibility to the general public by putting them on the same floor as development services," Van Vliet told council.
"It was felt we could improve public access and increase the effectiveness of other departments."
Van Vliet says several factors other than the additional floor space for the city clerk's office also drove costs up, including:
- Structural renovations. There was some sheer wall on the third floor from an earlier version of the building that needed to be moved in order to create a more open concept.
- In order to accommodate the number of workspaces in a concept form, we need to acquire new workstation furniture. The number of these were not entirely accounted for in the earlier budget.
- Washrooms. Right now on the second floor there is a large number of staff, and there is just one washroom with one stall on each side. We are proposing to increase that to two stalls.
Van Vliet says renovating both floors at the same time will reduce the overall disruption of city staff.
He adds the additional funds were moved from other projects.
"Given the time of year, we have been able to identify a number of projects that are either complete and have some surplus funds or may not get completed using taxation money," says Van Vliet.
While in favour of doing all the work at one time, councillor Luke Stack was concerned some of the additional budget came from sidewalk and the bicycle network project.
"Those are also both near and dear to my heart. I know we are always short of money for sidewalks, so, if this money is rerouted now, do we then have to put it as a new budget item if we want to replace those funds next year?" asked Stack.
Van Vliet agrees there will be some bike lanes and sidewalks that will not be done because the money has been transferred but added the budget for both is healthier next year than it was in 2012.
He says projects not completed this year will be put to the top of the list in 2013.
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