City of Whitehorse pushes ahead with plans for new operations building

The City of Whitehorse recently announced it's moving ahead with the building design and site preparation for its future operations building at the top of Two Mile Hill.

The City of Whitehorse recently announced it’s moving ahead with the building design and site preparation for its future operations building at the top of Two Mile Hill.

The project is part of the City’s plans to spend $56 million over the next two years to consolidate many of its existing buildings into two locations: a service building next to city hall and an operations building off Range Road on Two Mile Hill.

The City says the project should ultimately save money by shuttering old, energy-inefficient buildings and bringing most of its workers together under two roofs, rather than having them scattered in many downtown locations.

The announcement was made last Friday at the aging Municipal Services Building, where many of the city’s employees currently work.

That building is approximately 50 years old and houses eight departments. It consumes more energy than any other operations building and more than the 11 smallest city buildings combined.

The estimated cost of the new operations building, about $47 million, was also revealed last week for the first time. The rest of the $56-million budget, about $10 million, is going towards the future services building.

The City will be getting just over $15 million in federal gas tax funds for the building, meaning it’ll be on the hook for about $32 million.

The operations building will be home to transportation, equipment maintenance, engineering, traffic, environmental sustainability, water and waste, as well as some human resources staff.

Just under one-third of this year’s capital budget, or $5 million, has been allocated to the project. That will cover the building design and site preparation for this year, said Peter O’Blenes, director of infrastructure and operations with the City.

City officials should have a better idea of the cost once the design is finalized, which should be later this year, O’Blenes added.

Meanwhile, the future services building will be put on the back burner for the time being.

The City is looking at completing the design and site preparations this fall and winter, with construction scheduled to begin in April 2017, O’Blenes said.

It’s anticipated that city staff will be able to move into the new building in June or July 2018.

Potential future additions to the operations building, such as transit garages, could push the total cost to $73 million.

“We’re trying to minimize the amount of money we’re borrowing for this,” O’Blenes said.

“If other monies become available we’d want to look at expanding the operations building.”

The request for proposal for the design of the building has closed and an administration report will be presented to members of council at next week’s meeting. City council is also in the process of approving its lease for the land with the Yukon government.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Don Sumanik Memorial Race beats bad weather

Slick course conditions make for fast times

Ross River Dena Council to rebuild duplexes after contractor abandons site

RRDC says Vancouver-based company built units that did not meet safety standards then left

Greyhound calls for public funds to help rural routes

Call comes as bus company seeks regulatory permission to axe northern routes

Yukon government not expecting to make an early profit from pot

Finance department estimates YG will sell 700,000 grams of cannabis per year

Two Yukon projects shortlisted for the Arctic Inspiration Prize

Projects from Whitehorse, Carcross up for cash

Lower Post, B.C., man suing Yukon RCMP over assault allegation

Suit alleges man ended up with ‘ended up with bruising on his arms, biceps and chest’

Yukon needs a better plan for long-term care

The government can find solutions if it has the will. Does it have the will?

Hard travel over the Yukon’s winter trails

The overland trip to Dawson City today is a cakewalk compared to a century ago

Globalization infiltrates the Yukon’s recycling bins

You’re going to have to do a better job sorting your junk or else China won’t take it

Driving during the holidays

It’s hectic on the roads at Christmastime

Whitehorse council chambers needs new audio-visual equipment

‘More than 10 people’ watch city’s televised meetings

Most Read