District explores options to replace Municipal Hall

An Expression of Interest has been issued as part of due diligence to determine best approach

The District of Squamish has begun its process to evaluate options to replace Municipal Hall, one of the critical facilities identified for replacement by the 2019 Real Estate and Facilities (REF) Master Plan. An Expression of Interest has been issued as a first step to explore whether a developer could provide the space to accommodate a new Municipal Hall. This option is one of a number of scenarios the District will investigate prior to making a final decision.

“Our process will look at creative ways to replace Municipal Hall and will undertake a comparative analysis on a number of options. All options including leasing, partnerships and co-locating to help us minimize investment are on the table,” says Mayor Karen Elliott. “This Council is taking a proactive role to action the critical facility replacement needs of our community, and getting started on this analysis is an exciting and necessary step.”

A detailed review of the 48-year-old facility completed during the REF Master Plan identified:

  • Substantial upcoming upgrades required for a new heating system, a new roof, as well as plumbing and water infiltration issues;
  • Lack of meeting space, outgrown Council Chambers and the need for additional office space;
  • Outdated seismic standards.

As a result, replacement of Municipal Hall is recommended before significant capital repairs are required on a facility that no longer meets the needs of the organization. The replacement of Municipal Hall will be prioritized after the Fire Halls and the Public Works Operations facility. In the meantime, the District continues to work towards a funding plan for necessary upgrades and expansion of Brennan Park Recreation Centre. 

Scenarios that have been identified in the REF Master Plan include looking at everything from building a new Municipal Hall on District property (including the current site), renovating the existing hall and leasing additional space elsewhere, or acquiring developer-built space (lease or purchase). A land exchange may also be a possibility to secure the optimal location.

The Expression of Interest period closes April 7, 2020. Details are available at Squamish.ca/EOI. For further information, contact the District’s Manager of Real Estate, Neil Plumb at 604.815.5029 or nplumb@squamish.ca.

The Real Estate and Facilities Master Plan and the process surrounding it are available online at: Squamish.ca/real-estate-and-facilities-master-plan.

Background:

The District manages a portfolio of approximately 1,400 acres of real estate, 18 facilities (200,000 square feet) and over 100 tenants, to provide a range of services to the community. District facilities include Municipal Hall, Squamish Public Library, Tantalus Fire Hall, Valleycliffe Fire Hall, Squamish RCMP, District of Squamish Public Works yards, The 55 Activity Centre, Brennan Park Recreation Centre and public parks. 

February 6, 2020

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