Construction Time Frame
The development of the project from an idea to its physical reality has taken ten years. Early on, it was recognized that the existing facility would be unsuitable for this purpose and it was proven that replacement was preferred over renovation. With the intent to reinforce a strong City Centre identity, in a rapidly emerging urban environment, the evolution of the process is identified in the following:1990
- Facility inadequacies and inefficiencies are identified in staff reports. Staff reports from 1988 explored the feasibility of the customer "one stop shopping" model.
- Workshops with senior staff and council set broad parameters for space needs study and feasibility study. These identified key issues such as existing parking shortfalls, existing building conditions, and possible funding scenarios.
- Civic Centre task force is formed.
- A preliminary building program is established in "Space Needs Analysis" reflecting the needs of the City to the year 2000.
- "Richmond Civic Centre" feasibility study identifies the opportunity for creating an appropriate city centre icon for the community.
- Council approves in principle the Civic Centre Master Plan concept---a three phase conceptual plan for the future development of the civic precinct including the construction of a new city hall.
- Operation and maintenance analysis is conducted comparing the old city hall to new facilities. It was concluded that there was a significant efficiency penalty and it was proven to be more cost effective to replace the City Hall rather than upgrade the existing building. Detailed analysis of the existing facility was made including code compliance and plant upgrade. Long term upgrade costs represented 75% of replacement value. Recognition of the extent of space and plant deficiencies led to the development of the civic master plan.
- Site options were reviewed. These included both city owned and private properties.
- Funding options were considered including funds from capital reserves and a land development program.
- A "blue ribbon" committee, comprising well known business leaders from the community is struck to comment on staff reports and include their opinions regarding lease and design options for the new city hall.
- Initiatives are established to gain community support for the project.
- Forecasting of space based on consultant feasibility studies, staff growth statistics, code regulations, optional space requirements, and comparative city halls are evaluated.
- The Building Committee composed of Mayor and Council is formed.
- Proposal calls are released for project management services.
- Programming and budgets are finalized.
- Proposal calls are released for architectural services.
- Interim facilities are established in an alternate city owned building.
- Demolition of the old city hall.
- Construction of New City Hall.
- A technical review group (TRG) is formed from representatives from leading construction companies. These volunteers assist the City of Richmond in critical appraisals of the design, budget and management of the construction process.
- Staff conduct "table-top" exercises to adjust operations to the new facility.
- May 15 occupancy of New City Hall.