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

James McLeod jmcleod@thetelegram.com
Published on May 29, 2014
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.
— Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

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.

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.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames