by Dave Preston
An update on progress of renovations at the Primary School became an opportunity for some councillors to complain they are being kept in the dark on some issues.
Rob Campbell was hired by the district to oversee renovations to the building and he reported Tuesday morning that the project is within budget and proceeding along.
A crew is working on an addition to the rear of the building that will connect two of the old classrooms and include new washrooms, a small kitchen and office space.
New windows arrived Monday and they have a heritage, four-pane look to them and are to be installed soon.
Coun. Terry Condon asked if any work has been done on occupancy agreements with the two major tenants of the building, the Boys and Girls Club and the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Information Centre.
“They haven’t been worked out yet,” said Mayor Keith Fielding.
The mayor noted that all of the work done to date and managing the budget for the building is being managed by the Primary School Implementation Committee.
The Boys and Girls Club has committed to fundraise for all of the interior furnishings they require.
Coun. Eric Hall said the new addition at the back of the building was never brought to the committee for consideration, but Fielding said it was discussed at the committee.
Hall said he would have preferred to have more communication about what has been going on with the renovation project.
“I’m surprised you’re raising this at this point,” said Fielding.
Hall went on to say that the question of how to use the building once renovated should be talked about by council again.
Nothing has to council from the implementation committee, according to Coun. Eldon Kerbes.
“Council was not aware of it if they were not part of that committee,” said Kerbes.
Coun. Vern Moberg, who was against any renovations at the old school building, said he is happy renovations are going well but he is not happy with the lack of communication on the project to council.
“Everyone is grasping for more information,” said Moberg. “We don’t get the information we should have.”
Coun. Cindy Fortin asked for clarification on the renovation budget. Staff said there was $115,000 left over from a $200,000 commitment from council and $450,000 in grants received that can go toward renovations.
“Council has made… a clear commitment as to how the building is to be used,” said Fielding. “What we have… is straight implementation of policy that council has approved.”
Campbell presented a budget of $506,000 to complete renovations at the Primary School. He noted there are several items where savings are expected, so the final cost could be less.