The call for tenders for Conception Bay South’s (C.B.S.) new town hall closes next week, and the town is eager to get construction started.
“Hopefully within a couple of weeks or a month we’ll be able to award the tender and get work started on that project,” said Conception Bay South Mayor Ken McDonald, who expects construction will take about 16-18 months for the $10.5-million project.
Provincial and federal funding will contribute about $4.5 million to the project, with the town footing the rest of the bill.
McDonald says the town’s cost will be offset from the sale of the old town hall property, and C.B.S. will also save money by no longer having to lease office space. The town’s old building is simply becoming too crowded, said the mayor.
“The one we’re in is over 30 years old and very small, very cramped up,” said McDonald.
“If you were to walk through the finance department, there’s filing cabinets everywhere. There’s desk next to desks. There’s no real privacy for a lot of the things there when it comes to staff. We lease space at the nearby Villa Nova Plaza that we’re almost $80,000 a year for.”
The new town hall will be located behind the town’s new Monument of Honour.
“It’ll be accessible from two levels,” said McDonald. “Looking at it from the front, it’ll be a two-storey structure — you’ll be able to access it from that level, and as well it’ll be accessible from the back, from the parking lot of what’s now the recreation complex, the pool. That parking lot will be extended and will feed right into the top entrance.”
“Our regular engineers are not the people that specialize in that, so they find somebody that is and subcontract that portion of it,” said McDonald.
The town’s plans for a new hall date back several years. In 2003, plans for a $9.5-million town hall and civic centre were shelved after residents rejected it in a public vote.
In 2010, a report commissioned by town council estimated the new cost to build the hall would be $20 million, prompting the town to scale back the plans. The new facility won’t include a library, leaving the fate of the town’s public library up in the air.
“$10 million doesn’t get you a lot these days,” said McDonald.