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City scales back plans for new Robert Service Campground building

Construction could begin in May
A new building could be in place at Robert Service Campground by May of 2023. (Yukon News file)

Construction of a new building at Robert Service Campground is expected for the 2023 camping season.

It will not, however, have all the features that were originally planned.

At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 10 meeting, Peter O’Blenes, the city’s manager of property management, brought forward a recommendation that council authorize staff to move forward with the procurement for construction of the new building.

The city’s procurement policy requires council authorization to move forward with any procurement estimated to be $500,000 or more.

O’Blenes noted that the most recent estimate projected it would exceed the $2.9 million budgeted.

“At that time, city administration reviewed the scope of the project and managed to identify a number of cost savings with minimal design changes to bring the project back to budget,” he said.

Among them will be a number of shelled spaces that can be added to at a later date.

Six bathrooms were originally planned. Instead, three will be fully functioning with another two plumbed so that they can be installed in the future. The sixth space will be used for ventilation.

The washrooms will be gender-neutral, O’Blenes confirmed when questioned about it by Coun. Mellisa Murray.

Coun. Michelle Friesen also raised questions about the washroom, with O’Blenes confirming that they would not be accessible when the building is closed though he noted there is a separate washroom and shower building for those staying at the campground that is accessible at all times throughout the camping season.

O’Blenes also noted a planned kitchen will be shelled to be filled in at a later date and that the overall size of the building has been reduced.

If council votes to move forward with the procurement at its Jan. 17 meeting, tender documents would be available Jan. 24. A contract for the work would be issued in March with the project expected to start in May. The building would then likely be finished May 1, 2023.

The campground building is one of a four major procurements being considered by council.

Recommendations also came forward that council authorize procurements for the renovation work to the Parks Building in Marwell, as well as the city’s fuel supply, and propane supply.

All of the contracts are expected to be more than $500,000.

The renovations will see the city’s former transit building at 139 Tlingit Street transformed into the city’s new parks building.

As with the campground building, the most recent estimate for the work exceeds the $1.425 million budget and city administration has scaled plans back “on a number of energy and mechanical/electrical items to bring this project within budget”.

The project will see the city add a biomass heating system, though the original oil burner system will remain as a back up.

If council approves the procurement, the tender would be released Feb. 25 with a contract in place in April. Work would get underway in May and be finished by May of 2023.

The current contracts for propane and fuel (which includes heating fuel, diesel and gasoline) end on July 1, prompting the city to put out a tender for the supply contracts.

Each would be a five-year contract with tender documents to be released Jan. 24 and contracts awarded April 4 and in service after July 1.

Council will vote on authorizing the procurement for each of the contracts Jan. 17.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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