(Living Chatham-Kent, Facebook)

Staff are proposing to relocate the Chatham-Kent Council Chambers to the first floor of the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre.

The estimated $1.5-million project is being recommended in order to “improve the accessibility” of Council Chambers.

Staff is recommending the design and construction to be be incorporated into the overall Civic Centre lifecycle upgrades project, which is pegged at $16.6-million.

“The relocation of Council Chambers to the first floor is the preferred solution as it will improve public and staff security and safety, as well as enhance accessibility, age friendliness and public accommodations,” said Tim Dick, director of drainage, asset and waste management, in a report.

“The remainder of the Civic Centre building also contains significant deficiencies that will be addressed through lifecycle replacement estimated to be $16.6 million over a three year period. This work will address mechanical HVAC replacement, electrical upgrade requirements, energy efficiency improvements, substandard accommodations, building life safety, abatement of designated substances, floor space utilization and all past due lifecycle building upgrades to flooring, windows, ceilings, lighting, washrooms and furnishings.”

Dick added: “The $1.5 million first floor relocation of Council Chambers is an incremental investment to the $16.6 million required for lifecycle upgrades.”

Dick said the renovation or relocation of Council Chambers, together with the Civic Centre lifecycle upgrades, must be managed as one project to optimize efficiencies.

“Therefore, a decision on the relocation of Council Chambers is required at this time to achieve the most cost effective solution for all work,” Dick said in his report.

“It is planned to complete the renovations one floor at a time, using the Park Ave. Business Centre (PABC) second floor areas as a transitional location for relocated departments. During renovations, Council meetings will be moved to alternative community arenas, the Capitol or Kiwanis Theatre, or the Convention Centre.”

Dick said the next step in the process will be to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for professional architectural services to complete detailed design drawings and specifications for initiating the project tendering process.

“Once the drawings and specifications are completed, the entire project will be tendered and the results presented to Council for a final approval,” he said.

To read the full report, click here.

Council is set to discuss the report at their regular/planning meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m.