118 Mill Street – State of the Building
WHY REVIEW THE BUILDING CONDITION?
In general terms the intent was to determine all the “known” investments required to ensure the longevity of the building. The purpose was to provide information to the membership regarding capital and major investments that would be needed over the next 5 and 10 years.
The report was meant to give the members the necessary information so that they could decide if the building was worth repairing: How much would it cost to repair and maintain the building to meet the members needs?
Westview Projects was hired to write the Scope of Work that was used to guide the review.
WHO DID THE BUILDING CONDITION REVIEW?
Cleland Jardine were selected to conduct the review.
They completed the report in December 2016, which specifically excluded any review of compliance to: past or present regulations, building codes, electrical codes, fire codes or safety codes and any environment assessments.
The report did not state any conclusions as to the safety of the building or whether the building was unfit for people to work or shop in. A much more extensive review would need to be done by appropriate experts and authorities, such as the Ministry of Labour, the Municipality, the Fire Department, an Environmental Engineering Firm to include the aspects that were excluded from the Cleland Jardine review.
WHAT DID THEY FIND?
The building condition assessment report identified major expenditures:
- Upgrade the front ramp, stairs and railings
- Repair front porch slab (work to be coordinated with the front ramp)
- Roofing repair and replacement
- Repair of brick work
- Cladding – stucco repair
- Cladding – painting
- Sealing of exterior joints
- HVAC unit replacement
- Hot water tank replacement
WHAT DID THE BOARD DO WITH THE INFORMATION?
- A public survey was conducted to gain insights on how the Hub building and store was serving the community’s needs;
- Discussion groups with volunteers to get ideas on how the space was working for them and what we could do to improve their working conditions;
- Information from the public survey, the volunteer discussions and the building condition review was put together to create an information session for members before and at the Annual General Meeting
WHAT DID THE PRESENTATION COVER?
- The Shopper Experience
- The Building Condition
- The Volunteer/Staff Experience
- Safety Concerns (incl. Fire Exits, Ventilation, Stairs, Crowding, etc).
- Comments from the surveys included:
Regardless of the costs of repair does the current building suit the needs of the organization? Can we achieve wheelchair\walker\stroller access around the racks?
Do we have the space to achieve a better shopping experience?
- Concerns raised by the volunteers and staff included:
Heavy lifting up and down stairs
Egress from the basement area
Poor ventilation at the rear and no ventilation in sorting areas
Fire stairs were too narrow and steep
The presentation did not indicate the building was unsafe or was to be condemned, nor did it provide any additional estimates for items such as replacement of the stairs, fixing any ventilation issues, repairs to the apartment, etc.
WHAT WOULD IT COST?
WHAT OTHER CONCERNS WERE RAISED?
- How accurate is the assessment?
- Would the scope of the repairs increase once walls were uncovered and construction had started?
- How do we project cost overruns and how do we budget for them?
- Are there too many unknowns with what would be a large scale financial investment of membership and community funds.
- What would our obligations be under the Heritage Conservation District?
WHAT DID THE MEMBERS DECIDE AT THE AGM?
The members voted on the motion:
That the Almonte Community Co-ordinators not proceed with the repairs of the Hub, but instead rent retail space until a long-term plan is in place.