Oak Bay municipal hall will undergo renovations to the main reception area this winter. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay municipal hall will undergo renovations to the main reception area this winter. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Oak Bay municipal hall will undergo renovations to the main reception area this winter. (Black Press Media File Photo) Oak Bay municipal hall will undergo renovations to the main reception area this winter. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Million-dollar reno will update Oak Bay’s municipal hall

Oak Bay Volunteer Services moving to Monterey Recreation Centre

About one million dollars worth of renovations are coming to Oak Bay’s municipal hall and the Monterey Recreation Centre.

Victoria’s Jensen Architects and project manager Dave Cockle (ex-Oak Bay fire chief) produced a detailed 371-page report on the work in September. The request to bid for the proposal was made public this week.

The total work is budgeted for $1.3 million including furniture, which includes a $270,600 contingency fund, and which is in the district’s 2020 financial plan.

The administrative office area is in particular need of an update.

Some of the desks date back to 1960 and the kiosk workstations have not been updated since 1983, well beyond their life expectancy, reads the report.

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The project will add six new workstations and replace the 29 workstations. It’s something that most visitors will agree with who’ve witnessed the 1980s design of the reception area in city hall, said the mayor.

“It’s overdue and much-needed,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch, adding the work should start this winter.

The walls will remain, but a lot of floors, counters and doors will be replaced with new carpets, new electrical, a reorganizing of the work stations, and a redesign of the reception to create more space.

Space is also being renovated at Monterey Recreation Centre to accommodate Oak Bay Volunteer Services, which will move out of the basement from municipal hall.

“This will give Oak Bay Volunteer Services level-ground access and a better space overall to use,” Murdoch said. “And it creates added space in municipal hall.”

The new Monterey office space is a big move forward for the growth of Oak Bay Volunteer Services, said executive director Renee Lormé-Gulbrandsen.

“It will allow for a welcoming reception area, staff offices and a much-needed meeting/programming room,” she said. “But most importantly, it will have reliable access to our ‘home’ for those with mobility challenges and/or who use mobility aids.”

That Monterey is home to seniors community programming is an additional benefit, meshing with the non-profit’s mandate of delivering services to seniors who are aging in place.

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During the renovation, some municipal staff will work from temporary trailer offices outside. Others will work from home. The chambers portion of the building can also be used for additional meetings.

Adding to the costs is the removal of asbestos from four areas of Municipal Hall. Three of the areas will require a moderate-risk procedure, the sinks in the basement kitchenette, the vinyl flooring under the carpet on a set of stairs to the basement, and the vinyl flooring in another basement room. The removal of the vinyl flooring in the first-floor kitchen is listed as high risk.

Oak Bay has earmarked $45,000 for a separate project to upgrade the audio-visual equipment for improved live-stream and recorded broadcasting of Oak Bay council sessions.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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