Smiths Falls Manhire discusses Town Hall revamp, town square plan

August 31, 2017 by

town-hall-2-300x225-2Town hall in Smiths Falls has seen numerous alterations over the years, but they have largely been in response to immediate needs.

“It’s been reconstructed in haphazard ways, putting up new walls to serve an immediate need without looking at the long term design or use,” said Art Manhire, director of Community Services.

After a rigorous interview process last spring the town contracted +VG Architects to define the scope of a complete renovation and re-organization of  the 25,00 square foot Town Hall and a re-imagining of the surrounding land including the library to create a Town Square complete with outdoor performance space, and extensive landscaping.

“Part of the challenge to see how to make the ground floor accessible, and more service friendly” said Manhire.

The architects’ mandate is to design the project to be completed over five years and identify components that can be completed as the funding becomes available.

The first component will be the Economic Development and Tourism department, as some funding from Canada 150 has already been secured to get that part completed before March 2018.   Approximately $90,000 in grant money is available with another $60,000 from the town and an additional $100,000 from a private donor.

“There is a site survey underway right now and we’re preparing to initiate a public consultation process and open house for the fall,”  Dan Woycik, senior architect with +VG, told council on August 28.

The firm has prepared a series of concept drawings to date focused on preserving and highlighting the heritage elements of the Town Hall campus and maximizing the use of space.

Public consultations are expected to begin in October this year.