In the legislature this week, the NDP Opposition asked the government why a tender to demolish the building at 207 Alexander Street was cancelled.
The property is slated to hold 34 units for seniors housing.
“The demolition contract was cancelled,” said MLA Kate White. “The fence might be up, but the building is not coming down. Yukoners are getting used to major capital projects being punted around like a political football by the team Yukon Party.”
But the building is still coming down, and the contract was not cancelled. What really happened is a little bit more complicated.
When the Yukon Housing Corporation first received bids on the demolition, they came in higher than was expected, said Michael Hale, the corporation’s vice-president of operations.
“We did start looking at if there was another way to do that that might save some money.”
As a result, the corporation issued a second tender, under different parameters.
But it soon went back to the original plan.
“Ultimately, we decided that despite the fact that it’s going to cost more, we would go with the first model.” said Hale.
The first contract required a much more careful approach to removing asbestos from the site, which accounts for the higher price, he said.
The contract, as originally designed, was awarded to KingCat Contracting for $458,465.
Work has already begun, and is expected to be complete by June 15, said Hale.
At that point construction will start on the site.