White Rock City Hall. (File photo)

White Rock needs a new City Hall: corporate report

New building could cost $16 to $20 million

A report to White Rock councillors suggests that the current city hall has “outlived its useful life,” and staff recommend replacing the building to the tune of $16-20 million.

White Rock CAO Dan Bottrill is scheduled to present a corporate report at Monday’s (March 11) regular council meeting in regards to the 57-year-old structure.

Problems with the facility – Bottrill highlights in the agenda made public before Monday’s meeting – include accessibility, seismic risks, and lack of sufficient space to accommodate city business.

The report, which is to be presented as information, highlights three options for consideration, including staff’s recommendation to replace the entire building at an estimated cost of $16 to $20 million.

Other options include undertaking seismic improvements, or alternatively, do nothing at all.

The option of doing nothing, the report states, “means that occupants of the building will remain at risk due to the known seismic issues associated with the building.”

Bottrill’s report notes that the cost to provide seismic upgrades to the current building is difficult to estimate, but are expected to be several million dollars.

The current assessed value of the building is $235,000.

The report says the walls of city hall are “merely mortared bricks without any steel reinforcement,” and “this kind of wall performs poorly in low- and high-frequency earthquakes.”

Further upgrades highlighted in the report include an elevator and accessible washrooms on both floors of the building – “none of the existing washrooms meet the requirements” – and the foundation would also need to be assessed.

The report says the city’s current financial plan does not include any funding for major renovations or additions to city hall.

Bottrill’s report recommends a business needs assessment in order to move forward with the replacement of the current City Hall building.

Discussions of a new White Rock City Hall have been ongoing for about 20 years.

In 2011, White Rock council considered numerous options for city hall, including moving it to the Town Centre.

The full report can be found here (page 17).

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