Plans for a New Town Hall for Bonnyville in the Works

Bonnyville Town Council was presented with various options for a new town hall by the architecture firm,  Manasc Issac. Representatives for the firm, Vivian Manasc and Tiffany Collinge, presented council with six options for a town hall. Four of those were new builds, one option was renovating the current building and the sixth option was moving into the Centennial Centre explains Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski.

“Council narrowed it down to the potential favourites, kinda gave us an idea of what [town hall] would look like.” The cost plays a big factor in the final decision, “the cost was a little higher than what we had originally expected, so what we’re going to be doing is meet up with them again in two weeks. At that time they should be able to give us a better idea of what these buildings are going to look like.”

While Manasc Issac are busy finalizing details of the buildings, the town will be busy putting everything in order on their side, says the Mayor. “In the meantime, the administration is going to get to work to see what we can afford and what we can’t.”

The Mayor says council has eliminated two options off the bat, one of which is renovating the current building. “We have a 70-year-old structure and we’re bursting at the seams.” The building has structural issues, “there’s a lot of roof problems right now and whenever you start dealing with renovations, your costs are so much higher.” The 70-year-old concrete building was built before technology was even conceived, explains the Mayor, “back then they never thought of anything in the way of technology or being environmentally sensitive. That old building is as far away for it as you can get.”

The Centennial Centre may be the most cost-efficient option, however it too has it downsides that have caused council to eliminate it as an option, explains the Mayor. “It’s away from downtown and there’s not a lot of room.” The C2 has space available since Portage College moved its electrical program out of the building, the space available still may not be enough for the town, says Sobolewski. “It’s probably not an option that is going to be considered as much. It is cheaper, but then on the other hand we don’t want to rule out the potential of having the C2 used for educational purposes.” The town hopes another post-secondary institution will be able to offer courses at the centre in the near future. Another set-back for the town is the C2 is a recreational facility and as the Mayor explains the town does not want to hinder business, “in some cases it might not mess very well.”

With renovating the current building and moving into the Centennial Centre taken off the table as options, Council was able to narrow it down to three options. The architect will use those options to come back to Council with a cost in a couple of weeks and a decision will be made from there.

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