Questions About Process & Timelines - Public Safety Bulding
42. How will the architect for the proposed Public Safety Building be selected?
The Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the Public Safety Building was posted on BC Bid and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s webpage from June 6 – June 20, 2011. Following the submission deadline, all submitted RFEOIs were reviewed by a selection committee of Staff and members of the Ambleside Revitalization Commission (resident volunteers with substantial experience in development and construction). Four architectural firms were short-listed for the next stage of the selection process. After the public engagement in May and June, and after Council has made the main decisions for the PSB project including size, location, scope and cost, the District will issue a Request for Proposals (RFPs) to move ahead with the architect selection process.
43. What is the timeline for the construction of the PSB?
In the coming months, Council and operational experts will confirm options for the new PSB and then present them to the public. After determining matters such as size, scope and location for the PSB, Council will need to consider the hiring of an architect. Once an architect is hired there will be more community engagement to receive input regarding the design principles. Less than a year later there would be another round of public engagement and then Council would need to consider and approve a final schematic design and move towards detailed construction drawings.
[insert public engagement timeline here]
44. What will be decided after the public engagement in May/June?
The overall goals of the public engagement plan are for Council to consult the public on the PSB project so that Council understands public preferences and is able to consider those preferences when making project decisions such as size, scope, design, location, cost and funding sources. Council and the District are committed to meaningful community engagement and to providing the public with information they need to engage in the PSB process. In June, Staff will report back to Council on the results of the public engagement. Following presentation of that information, the PSB Team would request Council approval in June/July for the main decisions for the PSB project including size, location, scope, whether the Fire Hall is included in the PSB, and target budget.
45. What kind of public input will the District be seeking from the public?
Starting in May/June 2012, the District will begin public engagement on the overall PSB project. This phase of public engagement will help Council to confirm the main project variables including size, scope, and location. Once these factors are confirmed, Council would then consider the engaging of an architect. The next phase of public consultation would seek public input into the design principles for the PSB. The timing of this phase of public consultation is likely in fall 2012. Following the second phase of public consultation, the District would seek comments on the draft schematic design for the PSB.
46. When would the PSB be completed?
Based on current planning, it is anticipated that a new PSB could be completed by around 2016.
47. What happens if the PSB is not built in four and a half years from a potential rezoning as set out in the Purchase and Sale Agreements for the District-owned lands on the 1300 Block?
Staff, external experts and the Ambleside Revitalization Commission (consisting of resident volunteers with substantial experience in construction and development) have confirmed that it is entirely achievable to construct a new PSB by four and a half years from a potential rezoning of the 1300 Block. The Purchase and Sale Agreements set out more information on the timeline. If Council approves the development application, the District would be required to vacate the Police Station within four and a half years from rezoning. If the Police Station is vacated before three years from rezoning, the District will receive up to an additional $900,000 from Grosvenor. If the Police Station is vacated after four years from rezoning, there will be a reduction of the purchase price payable amounting to $6,666 per day. The District is required to vacate the Police Station by latest four and a half years from rezoning. These timelines only come into effect if the development application (including rezoning) is approved by Council in its absolute unfettered discretion.
48. Will Municipal Hall be impacted by the construction?
As with most situations where a new facility is constructed next to an existing building, construction of the new PSB would have some associated impacts on the Municipal Hall which the PSB Team has been informed can be mitigated. These impacts relate to construction noise and the loss of parking. A construction management plan established in accordance with industry standards will be developed well in advance of when construction would begin.
49. Will Municipal Hall be updated to become post-disaster standard as well?
Currently, there is no immediate plan to upgrade Municipal Hall. The Staff report on the Public Safety Building, presented to Council on October 3, 2011, stated the goals of Council and Staff for the Public Safety Building. One of those goals is to construct a facility that will house essential needs for today and the future, but not more than we need. The October 3 Report, in keeping with the goals for the Public Safety Building, reduced the scope and cost estimates for the PSB to $39.5 million for all design and construction costs, and presented a “base case” version, which did not include any upgrades to the existing Municipal Hall. At this stage, it was determined that the “base case” version was the most appropriate, but it is open to Council to consider other options or upgrades such as whether to update Municipal Hall.
As a separate project, municipal staff are conducting a facility inventory District-wide and assessing the District’s other facility needs so they can be planned and budgeted over time.
50. Why is the District proceeding with planning for the PSB when there has been no decision to rezone the 1300 Block?
This Council, and previous Councils, have identified a clear need to replace the existing Police Station and seismically upgrade Fire Hall No.1. Neither the Police Station nor Fire Hall No.1 are constructed to a post-disaster standard and both would fail, and possibly collapse, in the event of a major earthquake. Council has decided that the District will construct a new Police Station, that it will be re-located from the 1300 Block of Marine Drive, and that it will be constructed to post-disaster standard. Both the Police Station and Fire Hall No.1 are at the end of their useful life, are deficient in numerous aspects and external experts have confirmed that planning needs to start now to replace the facilities as soon as possible. The District is therefore proceeding now with planning for the PSB. Public safety is one of the most important services that the District provides, and one of the District’s most fundamental responsibilities to the community. The District has a responsibility to continue moving forward with planning for critical infrastructure to ensure that our first responders can continue to serve the community in the everyday and in times of emergency.
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