Reno of Lacombe provincial building estimated at $5 million

Options for making municipal use of a former Lacombe provincial building range from $5 million to $11 million.

Options for making municipal use of a former Lacombe provincial building range from $5 million to $11 million.

City of Lacombe bought the 48-year-old building at 5104 50th Ave. for just under $1 million earlier this year, enticed by the opportunity to secure a key downtown site for municipal use.

A recent assessment and business plan by Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd. pegs the cost of renovating the two-storey building at $5 million. A partial demolition of the old building and addition of 9,900-square-feet of new space would cost around $9.1 million. Demolishing the old building to make way for a new structure would carry an $11.4 million price tag.

The numbers are significantly higher than earlier rough cost estimates ranging from $3.4 million to $6.6 million for renovations or to construct a new building.

Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie said council just received the latest report for information but it will be a topic during 2017 budget discussions about to begin.

The city takes possession in March and current tenants have been given notice to leave. But the city does not want to leave the building vacant downtown for long.

“I think we’ll have to look at some sort of approach in the budget,” he said.

Using the main floor for municipal use while determining whether to pursue further renovations or a new build is among the options. The existing city hall at 5444 56th St. is over-crowded and more space is needed.

Other issues council will have to look at is parking availability at the main street site should it become City Hall.

“That’s one of the over-arching things we would have to look at before deciding which way we were going to go,” he said. “There’s a lot more work and thought and time that has to go into what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it in that area.”