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Tender awarded for town’s space needs study


The town has approved the tender for its upcoming space needs study.

Jones Land LaSalle Real Estate Services Inc., also known as JLL, was awarded the project for the amount of $138,885 plus HST. It was one of five proposals that were submitted, with details of the other four not being released.

The recommendation passed by town council noted the cost could go up to $200,000, inclusive of HST, if it is required to “expand the scope of the work plan.”

“The study is inclusive of all the Town department's spatial needs for administrative staffing and operational requirements of each division, keeping in mind future growth. The primary goal of the space needs study is to determine the best way in which to address the space needs of each department, improve accessibility provisions being offered, and to provide public spaces for the conduct of official Town business that is effective, inclusive and accessible,” stated director of parks, facilities and recreation Heidi Baillargeon in her report to town council. “The scope of the space needs study includes a review and an in-depth analysis of 36 town buildings, all town departments including staff, business operations, and current space allocations at their respective locations to understand growth and future space needs of the Town.”

Baillargeon stated the review will cover, but is not limited to, reviewing service areas and departments such as work stations, offices, meeting and conference rooms, filing areas, public counters, storage, accessibility standards, operational storage and housing of machinery. The study would also look at “corporate facility areas” such as multi-purpose meeting rooms, lunch rooms, kitchen and maintenance areas as well as public areas such as the council chambers, lobbies, reception areas, washrooms and parking.

The study will also look at in-camera meeting rooms.

Consultants will look at part of a “detailed analysis of existing conditions and infrastructure town-wide, to suggest what building infrastructure should be kept and amalgamated, what could be sold, and/or what could or should be built and where, to maximize efficiencies for staff, operational needs and future growth.”

“The proponent shall undertake a comprehensive review of the space needs for a new town hall inclusive of the mayor’s office and new council chambers,” the report added.

The consultant’s report will also identify possible options and associated costs and savings.

“The current town hall was built prior to the current legislative requirements with regards to accessible features and design elements, and as such presents an opportunity to improve access and inclusion through the space needs study. This will further help to determine the best way in which to address the space needs of each department. The consideration of opportunities within the Libro Centre, tempering it with potential expanded needs for recreational use which may influence how or if the site is viable, as well as consideration of other land owned by the Town at the Libro Centre which may prove viable for a new facility for a town hall which provides for amalgamation of decentralized services and staff,” Baillargeon wrote. “Clarity around potential means in which to fund any investments through sale of other properties which would no longer be required, as well as cost savings through reduction in utilities, travel, maintenance and other such annual costs associated with the Town’s current facility portfolio will be key information to be provided in the study.

The report added: “Recommendations of the study should consider future growth, best practices, long-term maintenance, energy efficient design solutions, and overall efficiencies for operational departments.”

Councillor Linden Crain asked if administration sees the project expanding to the $200,000 figure. Baillargeon said it is unknown at this point, but if additional hours are required, it could result in costs growing.

“We don’t really know at this point,” said Baillargeon.

Councillor Peter Courtney wanted to know if the companies that qualified during the process were local, with Baillargeon stating they are from the Kitchener area. Courtney said the town hasn’t looked at “better ways of doing things,” and wanted to know if that would be factored in as part of the goal of getting maximum use of assets.

“We’re looking at all the town structures and buildings,” Baillargeon said.

Baillargeon added they are asking the consultant to consolidate where possible and what makes the most sense in terms of efficiencies.

Councillor Diane Pouget wanted it confirmed whether the study included parks, with Baillargeon telling council it did not.

Tender awarded for town’s space needs study

By Ron Giofu

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