Renovation Committee Report
This will likely be the last annual report from the Renovation Committee as its work is essentially complete.
The Renovation Committee has been in existence, in one form or another, since 1999, coincident with the establishment by OSCA of the Old Firehall Renovation Fund, a charitable organization registered with the Canada Revenue Agency to raise funds for the renovation and expansion of the Firehall.
At about that time a working committee was established with volunteer architects who first put together preliminary plans for the renovation with the help of a community charette. The plans were used for fund raising events and an architect's model was made with the help of students from the Carleton University Architecture School.
The Committee held a large number of funding raising events over the years, the most successful being the well known Lobster Suppers and Auctions held at Hopewell School. Subsequently last year these were succeeded by the "Savour the Flavour" dinners held at the Firehall organized by the Special Events Committee.
In 2004 the Committee decided to hold a design competition among local architectural firms to produce a comprehensive design plan including proposals for energy efficient, sustainable design features. The winning partnership of Jim Colizza and John Donkin with the help of environmental consultants produced a design with input from the Committee and from two public meetings. The designs were released in the spring of 2006 at which point the province of Ontario announced its support for the design by providing $200,000 to assist with the costs of producing a final, costed design meeting City of Ottawa standards.
The City accepted the provincial funding and a tender competition for architectural services was held in late 2007. The winning company was CSV Architects, a local Ottawa firm that has experience with designing community facilities and with LEED certified environmental projects. The chief architect on the project is Anthony Leaning.
Events over the Last Year
Over the first half of 2008 the Committee, City officials and the architects developed a new set of designs for presentation to the community. A public meeting on three potential design options was held on June 23 at the Firehall and a further public meeting was held on September 8, 2008, also at the Firehall, to get comments on the final design proposal. Based on the comments received, the Committee and City officials further revised the design and started the process of developing detailed costings for the renovation.
A short but intense period of lobbying by the committee and other Board members took place in the late autumn of 2008, including contacts with City officials and Councillors, the preparation of presentations and a video, and speeches and presentations before City Council’s 2008 Budget hearings. Happily, the renovation project was approved as part of the City’s 2009 capital budget in December 2008 with the City providing $2.9 million towards the cost of the $3.4 million renovation and expansion, the remainder coming from the community and the province.
It is expected that the construction tender will be let in mid-May and construction will start at the end of June 2009 and take the best part of a year to complete. Hopefully we will be back in the newly renovated Firehall in June 2010.
In the interim the Committee will remain in existence as a liaison with the City in case design changes are required during the construction phase of the project.
I would like to thank the Committee members and other in the community who contributed to a very successful conclusion to the Committee’s work.
Members of the Renovation Committee during 2008-2009 were:
- Michael Jenkin (chair)
- David Law
- Brendan McCoy
- Steve Mennill
- Nerys Parry
- Patti Ryan
- Anna Sundin
- Deirdre McQuillan (ex officio)
1 May 2009