The 26-year-old Sooke District Hall is ready for renovation.
The district this winter issued a call for tenders to builders for the design, upgrade and modernization of water pipes and sprinkler systems in the public building, a contract estimated at $ 250,000.
The project is part of a 10-year, $ 1.2 million plan to renovate and refurbish the building located at 2205 Otter Point Rd.
âIt is critically important that we have a safe building in which to work to provide services to the community,â said Norm McInnis, District Administrative Director.
According to an engineer’s assessment, the municipal hall did not reveal any visual evidence of “major structural failures”, soil erosion or differential settlement.
âThe buildings at the site (which includes Fire Station No. 1) appear to be in satisfactory condition and comparable to similar commercial properties in the area,â said a report prepared for the district last March.
The building has not undergone any major renovations during its lifetime, and many building systems – electrical, roofing and HVAC have reached the end of their useful lives.
âThe building is only getting old. You have code problems with most of the older buildings; once you start doing renovations, you had better be prepared to bring everything up to code, âMcInnis said.
The work will take place in several phases and will include regular annual maintenance of the building.
Major work should extend the life of the building by 30 to 40 years.
There has been no serious discussion about building a new town hall, McInnis said.
âWe’re starting to surpass it for sure, and we’re trying to be creative in how we can continue to grow as our community continues to grow,â McInnis said.
Since the start of the pandemic, the district has experimented with working from home staff. The numbers increased in the spring, and now 17 employees are using a “hybrid model” of working from home and office.
âWe try to be creative in how we can continue to grow as our community continues to grow,â McInnis said.
But for now, at least, McInnis expects the status quo at City Hall.
â(The building) is in very good condition. The setting, the location, it’s a beautiful building and it still works very well for us, âhe said.
âReplacing this building would cost millions of dollars. “
Sooke News Mirror