Trail is knee deep in an overall renovation of its city hall to save up to half the projected $5 million price tag attached to building a new facility.
City council is now settling into its newly renovated committee room, which now functions independent from the rest of city hall – a bonus for groups like Trail Community in Bloom and the library board which use it.
“Many hours are spent in this room and the project is a welcomed improvement,” said city administrator David Perehudoff. “All who have been through it are very complimentary.”
This includes former Trail councillor Norm Gabana, who was one of the city’s biggest critics when it came to its previous plan of building a new facility.
“This was the stupidest decision council ever tried to make,” said the boilermaker by trade.
“I was very critical about them thinking the building should be vacated for a new one because there is certainly more than adequate room in there.”
After the city completed Phase 1 of it renovation in 2010, a $100,000 improvement of its reception area, it turned its attention to a $350,000 overhaul to its second floor.
The committee room renovation, located beside council chambers, is furnished with new furniture, is fully wired for Internet connections and provides a “smart board,” a 60-inch monitor for displays and presentations as well as moveable white boards and panels.
All of its lighting automatically shuts off when nobody is in the room. In addition, heating and cooling is also programmable so the systems are turned down in the evening hours when the building is not in use to reduce power consumption.
The overhaul included the addition of a kitchen, asbestos removal, the installation of power-efficient roof top units as well as a renovation to the back of the building to improve the Trail Historical Society’s storage area.
Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning were brought up to standards and windows were replaced to improve insulation.
The city will approach future renovations in phases annually using funds from its capital budget, but will defer improvements when other projects take priority.
Among future upgrades to come, the city plans to fully wire council chambers to broadcast meetings and improve the overall sound quality along with tidying up the appearance of the room.