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Renovations to Smiths Falls Town Hall project to include fixes due to age

by | Aug 16, 2019 | Local News | 2 comments

Smiths Falls Town Hall is of a vintage that can harbour unexpected and costly surprises for the unwary renovator. In fact town staff have already identified several large ticket items that they recommend council, approve including in the scope of work going out to tender.

“These are all deficiencies that have existed for a number of years,” Art Manhire, director of Community Services told Committee.

An artists rendering of the new main entrance for Smiths Falls’ Town Hall

According to Manhire, engineering assessments were conducted on every aspect of the structural, electrical and mechanical components of the complex, and they found four components of the building that need to be addressed because they’re be considered additional scope as part of he phase two renovations.

The four items include stabilizing, repairing and repointing the hose tower, which will become the South entrance to the complex.

“At some point the hose tower brick was covered in stucco and that stucco allowed water to get in behind it , that damaged the brick,” explained Manhire.

The estimated cost for the Hose Tower repair is $85,000.

There is also a need for a permanent diesel generator for back up power to support Fire Dispatch in the event of a power outage.  

“The temporary generator we have now is undersized for the building,”  Manhire told Committee. 

The peak electrical load for the building is in the range of 67 KW while the current generator has a maximum load capacity of 60 KW. A new generator is price at $100,000 to $120,000.

Then for about $75,000 the floor of the two bay fire hall needs reinforcement to deal with a structural deficiency. “We have found a solution that does not require full removal and replacement of the floor but rather a reinforcement of the structure, keeping cost and time to a minimum,” said Manhire.

The largest ticket item, at $164,000 to nearly $303,000 is roof repairs to the flat roof of the 1984 addition that has never been repaired.  The final cost is going to depend on how much of the flat roof will need to be resurfaced

The roof repairs would also allow the town to install solar panels at a future date that would eliminate the town’s hydro costs.

“One of the things we’re doing is introducing some green technologies to reduce our footprint,” added Manhire.

After some discussion, and clarifications, committee generally agreed that the four components identified by staff should be included in the scope of work going out to tender.  A portion of the cost increase (from the budgeted $1.9 million to a potential $2.5 million) can be funded from building reserves.

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  1. T Hamilton

    And the part of the project to make it accessible to people with mobility issues goes unaddressed. In a town where there is an above average number of disabled and elderly residents. You would think making council chambers and other ‘community services’ available to these people would be a priority. Especially when 5800 people are trying to ‘meet’ with the mayor and council, and are being refused.

    • Bob Perreault

      This is just one part of the project. The main goal of the renovations is to make Town Hall accessible to all. It is the priority in the project. Council has recognized that the way it is now is unacceptable. That was one of the central reasons for pursuing these upgrades, in addition to ensuring the facility lasts for several more years. I hope this makes you fell a bit better about your initial point. I understand the frustration.


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