Renovated Courtenay City Hall called an example for others

The architect who gave Courtenay City Hall a facelift believes the building is a model for other communities across the province.

THE NEW

THE NEW

The architect who gave Courtenay City Hall a facelift believes the building is a model for other communities across the province.

Architect Martin Hagarty made a presentation about the renovation Monday and told council one of the project goals was to turn the building into a facility that would make people proud to live in Courtenay and that would match the quality of other nearby civic buildings like the Native Sons Hall, art gallery, library and Sid Williams Theatre.

“I think it fits into the history of the way the City has treated its civic buildings, and you guys have set a really good example for towns on Vancouver Island and throughout B.C.,” he said. “I think it’s a really good project.

“The feedback from the public and from other architects on this building has been really good. I think when other municipalities see what can be done with an old building and especially on what I would say was a pretty controlled budget, I think it is a good example. Comox has already asked.”

Hagarty thanked the team that worked on the renovation, which began in July and had a budget of $595,000.

“We basically created a budget for the project before we started,” said Hagarty. “We had a fairly big contingency because of an old building which we knew the building envelope was in poor condition, and we made allowances for that. We also created a schedule; basically, we said we wanted the outside finished before the election. We came in under budget, and we came in ahead of schedule for the main part of the work.”

The project involved extensive repairs to the building envelope and included new wood, stone, aluminum siding and window upgrades that included a large new window over the council chambers and part of the second floor. The project also included a complete revitalization of the exterior entrance, including new landscaping, benches and seating areas and pavers.

Construction was done by Muchalat Projects Ltd.

The stone on the building comes from Vancouver Island, and Hagarty told council they tried to source products locally and from the Island as much as possible.

Hagarty is particularly proud of the exterior sign.

“We wanted what is called a halo sign so the letters themselves are not lit, but there’s a light inside that casts a reflection on the wall,” he said. “The sign is designed in two ways: it was made quite long to basically provide another layer of design for the big screen, which is quite long; also, as you walk by the front of the building, each letter is kind of a decorative element, but when you drive by, you read them all together as the sign. I’ve driven by at night, and I’m really pleased with the halo effect. They’re all LED lights; we’re hardly using any energy at all on the outside of the building at night, and I think the sign looks great.”

Coun. Jon Ambler says the feedback he has received from people is that they really like the building.

“We’ve all talked about the future of Courtenay, and it’s actually a signpost about what we think of the future of our city,” he said. “It’s not a crumbling, decrepit building that we’re hanging onto by our fingernails.

“We have some civic pride. It goes in with our campus downtown; we’re all committed to doing better for downtown and making it really thrive. At the end of the day, we started this and we all recognized it definitely needed doing, but I think for me, it’s even exceeded our expectations, and it’s really a great thing.”

City administrator Sandy Gray thanked everyone involved in the renovation project, including Hagarty and his crew, Muchalat and its crew, and the city crews that worked on the landscaping.

“To everyone involved in the project, it’s been very successful, and we had a lot of fun with it and would look forward to working with any one of you again,” he said.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read