Phase II of Town Hall renovations set to begin in Smiths Falls
Phase II of Town Hall renovations in Smiths Falls, will still go ahead on schedule with the contractors expected to mobilize on site come Monday next week, in spite of a design change proposed by members of the Municipal Heritage Committee.
At issue was the concrete arch that was built in the 80’s at the entrance to Town Hall. Smiths Falls, Town Hall was designated a heritage building in the late 70’s before the arch was built.
However Heritage Committee members argue that the post modernist arch is an integral part of the building’s history and should be preserved and incorporated into the new design.
“The arch represents a unique type of architecture in the Town Hall campus, being built in 1984 and it also was inspired by the Town Hall architecture. By keeping the arch it tells the story of the Town Hall campus from when it was built to the renovations that are going to be happening in 2020,” Councillor Chris McGuire, council representative on the Heritage Committee, told Lake 88.
While the new direction from committee will require additional work, Director of Community Services Art Manhire who has been meeting with the Heritage Committee was prepared for the change. “Retaining the arch will cost $12,000 for the redesign of the front of the building to align the doors with the arch,” he said.
Manhire had already reached out to the architects last month with the proposed change and they have been modifying the architectural drawing to incorporate the arch into the front entrance design.
“So by the time the contractor comes to the construction component of the renovations we’ll have everything in place,” Manhire told Lake 88.
It should be noted that starting next week, the public entrance to Town Hall will change, but staff will be posting notices on site, on the town website and in the media to inform the public of changes that might affect them.