Cranbrook, BC (May 29, 2023) – After months of extensive planning and construction work by City staff and many exceptional contracted tradespeople, the newly renovated Council Chambers at City Hall in Cranbrook is complete, with Council hosting its first meeting in the new space on Monday, May 29, 2023.
Council Chambers underwent significant and long overdue upgrades and renovations starting in May 2022, with the project not funded through local City of Cranbrook taxpayer dollars but funded by a $1.51 million grant provided by both the Government of Canada and the Province of BC through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. The Federal Government contributed over $1.2 million, with the Province of BC contributing over $300,000 in funding.
“All of the work from the planning and construction right through to the finishing details has created an amazing space, welcoming to the public and functional for Council and City staff,” says Mayor Wayne Price. “The funding from the Government of Canada and the Province gave us a fantastic opportunity to invest in improving and restoring this important heritage building that is City Hall without needing to rely on our City taxpayers. Council is very grateful for these financial commitments to this wonderful space.”
Council Chambers was constructed in 1912 and was last renovated in the 1980’s with a drop ceiling and wall coverings that covered the decaying heritage features of the space. The Chambers now have received a complete renovation, creating a bigger, brighter, more functional, and user-friendly space that can be easily reconfigured for training, larger meetings, and other events. Chambers has also seen significant technological upgrades completed to better accommodate virtual attendance at meetings.
Hazardous materials removal including asbestos and lead water lines from Chambers and City Hall was also a significant project component. This room is now refreshed after serving the community for 111 years, to serve the community for many more years into the future. We have one of the last few original City Halls in Canada.
“The original intent of this project was to address the hazardous materials and provide a safe environment for staff,” says Tony Hetu, Acting Director of Public Works. “During the planning phase, it became clear that we had an incredible opportunity to showcase the unique architecture of this historic building which was covered through years of renovation.”
“We engaged in a collaborative approach to construction management on this project, with City staff and external contractors working together to deliver this project on schedule,” Hetu added. “Thank you to all City staff, Chris New, Unitech Construction Management and KMBR Architecture for the success of the project.”
Some additional renovation work and updates to the washroom facilities and the HVAC system throughout City Hall were also completed as part of this project using funds previously budgeted for while the City had the right contractors on site to save costs of them returning in the future as a separate project.