Cost of Confederation Building windows up to $56M: McGrath

James McLeod
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The cost to replace the windows at Confederation Building has gone up again — the project will now cost at least $56 million, not counting blinds that are being installed because of the glare from the sun through the windows.

Some of the new windows on the Confederation Building have fallen victim to leaks as work continues on the building. Some of the sections undergoing renovations remain covered by tarpaulins Thursday.

What’s more, there was a pool of water on one of the windowsills inside one of the new windows near the press gallery at the House of Assembly Wednesday, after a day of hard rain.

“The original budget was $20 million. They were supposed to be completed in 2012. It’s now $56 million, $36 million over budget, and I’m willing to bet that’s not the final total,” Liberal MHA Tom Osborne said. “The windows should’ve been replaced, absolutely, but due diligence was not carried out.”

Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath said the new windows were chosen for energy efficiency, but some of the windows that get a lot of sunlight on them need blinds. He said individual departments are ordering their own blinds, so it’s not easy to compile a total cost for the blinds.

As for the leaks, McGrath said that’s not a problem because the windows are still under warranty, so if there are any problems, the contractor or the manufacturer will have to fix them.

The increase in costs is because of problems with the building, McGrath said. Initially, when they opened up the envelope to replace the windows, they found problems with the limestone around the windows and had to replace it.

They found even bigger problems recently.

“When we took the outer facing off the tower of the East Block here, we realized there was significant structural inappropriateness,” McGrath said. “The actual materials that were used should never have been used, and we feel that that needs to be repaired right now and replaced.”

The work is scheduled to be completed some time in 2015.

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Recent comments

  • Public Tendering
    May 30, 2014 - 09:05

    Was this contract awarded by Government Purchasing Agency, under the Public Tendering Act? If so, there would have been a firm price accepted for a specifically defined scope of work; or, was it another open-ended, un-tendered plum contract awarded to a Tory friendly supplier?

  • Torey Nomore
    May 30, 2014 - 08:37

    Repair budgets off by 255%; just about the same ratio as then Finance Minister-come-Premier Marshall's annual budgets. Reason number 435,679 that I cannot vote Tory no-more.

  • John Q Public
    May 30, 2014 - 08:25

    $56,000,000 for windows in a building in St. John's but they could not provide a few thousand to a charitable organization to help the provinces disabled. $56,000,000 for windows in a building in St. John's but they refused to support and disbanded the Rural Development organizations through rural newfoundland and Labrador. $56,000,000 for windows in a building in St. John's but they have to charge every telephone customer $1 before they will implement a 911 service to rural communities. For at least 10 years now the PC Party and the PC Government has been of the obvious opinion that the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador ends at the overpass!

  • guy incognito
    May 30, 2014 - 07:16

    $56 million for windows. Wow. While our city literally falls apart our government spends that much on windows. We are in major debt and they spend $56 million on windows. This government will go down in history as the worst ever. From Danny to Dunderdale to Marshall to Coleman...and everyone in between (Kennedy). Seems like Doc and friends aren`t the only ones wasting our tax dollars on beautification projects.

    • second worse
      May 30, 2014 - 07:48

      Must be too young to remember the Smallwood era. This government would be a distant second.