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Rocky Mountain House considering new town office options

Current town offices built in 1973 and last renovated nearly 40 years ago

Rocky Mountain House town council recently got a look at its options for new town offices.

Representatives from Red Deer’s JMAA Architecture presented the findings of its town hall feasibility to study to council’s committee of the whole on Tuesday.

Town chief administrative officer Dean Krause said the presentation was for information and council has taken no further action yet.

“We’ll be discussing it sometime in the next couple of months to decide if they will select an option or even to proceed,” said Krause on Thursday.

Consultants were hired to look at options, including renovating the existing building, building a new town hall on the same site where the parking lot sits, or building a town hall as an addition to the arena complex or to fit a new town hall within the existing arena space.

Renovating was the cheapest option at just under $5 million. Building a new town hall on the same site would come in at just over $6 million and expanding the arena to include a town hall would cost an estimated $6.6 million. The fourth option of shoe-horning a town hall into the arena space was not costed out.

The estimates do not include construction fees, contingencies or estimates of the impacts of inflation on final costs.

The existing town hall was built in 1973 and the last significant renovations were done in 1986. A 2011 report listed numerous deficiencies with the building, including the presence of hazardous materials in drywall, flooring and mechanical systems.

Among other major issues is that the building is not accessible, has mechanical and electrical systems nearing the end of their lifespan, and does not meet numerous current building code requirements. As well, council chambers is small, outdated and has little room for the public. Office space is also dated, lacks natural light and there is no proper reception desk.

The town owns two lots north of the existing parking lot that it could use for a new building.

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