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Clarenville gets started on $2-million reno of town hall

Work began earlier this week on a $2 million renovation of the Clarenville Town Hall.
Work began earlier this week on a $2 million renovation of the Clarenville Town Hall. - Barb Dean-Simmons

A backhoe was busy busting up a concrete retaining wall in front of the Clarenville Town Hall on Municipal Square Thursday afternoon, July 30, while workers on a scaffold stripped brick off the exterior of the building.

It’s the start of a 10-month process that will see the decades-old town hall get a major facelift.

The $2-million project began earlier this month and is expected to be finished by next April, said David Harris, Chief Administrative Officer for the town.



He told SaltWire that 11 companies bid for the project and the lowest bidder, Emmanuel Construction Services Ltd. of Glovertown, won the work with a bid of $2,322,484.

This project is being funded entirely by the taxpayers of the Town of Clarenville.

“There’s no government money. It’s all coming from the town, with a 20-year mortgage,” said Harris.

That’s not the only costs associated with this project.

Earlier this year the town decided to pay Fougerge Menchenton Architecture $207,000, plus HST, for consultancy services for the first stage of the town hall project.

There were other costs, as well, as a variety of ideas for a new town hall were played out over nearly a decade.

The ideas included constructing a new building at a new location, building an extension to the Eastlink Events Centre to accommodate the municipal offices and, finally, renovating the old town hall.

Each of these ideas came with a cost.


After renovations, Clarenville's town hall will look something like this architect's conceptual drawing. - Contributed
After renovations, Clarenville's town hall will look something like this architect's conceptual drawing. - Contributed

 


In 2011, the town paid Ron Fougere $43,000 to develop the concept plan for a standalone town hall.

In 2014 and 2015, the town wrote three more cheques to Fougere, totalling $78,655, for concept plans associated with having the new town hall attached to the Eastlink Events Centre. One of the concept plans produced included a swimming pool as part of the addition.

In 2017, the town council decided to quash both the standalone town hall idea and the Eastlink addition.

In 2019 the town issued a request for proposals for renovations planning for the existing town hall, eventually awarding the $207,00 contract to Fougere in early 2020.

CAO Harris noted the old town hall is basically being gutted inside, and electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems are being upgraded.

The brick exterior on the building is being stripped and replaced with new siding.

The renovation will also see a new two-storey stairwell added. The new main entrance will be situated facing Memorial Drive, where the fire department garage bay used to be.

While this project is just getting underway, another new town building has just been completed.

Construction of a new $2.3-million fire hall wrapped up earlier this year, providing a new home for the fire department and its fleet of trucks.

The fire department moved its trucks and equipment from the garage at the old town hall to the new building earlier this week, making way for construction to begin on the town hall renovations.

barb.dean-simmons@thepacket.ca

@BarbDeanSimmons

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