Regional district board members discussed the future of Regional District Okanagan Similkameen corporate headquarters during the Corporate Services Committee meeting on July 17.
Chris Allen, Architect with Allen and Maurer Architects, presented a report to the directors that looked at upgrades to the existing facilities at 101 Main Street in Penticton, as opposed to constructing new facilities elsewhere.
Allen said the present location contained enough space for present RDOS staff numbers. His report centred on renovations that would provide a more comfortable workplace environment, at the same time addressing some energy efficiency issues.
Describing the present status of the regional district building as having evolved over 30 years without much direction, he said the building, constructed in 1981, was built to house a “new and untested form of government – not built to last.”
Present structural issues include a requirement for seismic upgrading and a slight settling of one corner of the building that is resulting in water ponding on the roof.
Describing the building as having “little curb appeal” Allen’s report divided the building into three sections, recommending large scale changes to the interior layout of the building. He also made recommendations to increase greenspace outside the building, including energy upgrades that could save up to $15,000 a year.
Allen’s report concluded by comparing replacement costs for a new facility versus present value of regional district assets. He concluded replacement values of a new regional district building at an alternate location at between 2.5 and three million dollars, whereas the existing facility’s present value is assessed at between 1.6 and 1.9 million dollars, “making the business case for relocation very weak.”
Following Allen’s report, the board voted on a staff recommendation to approve a $56,000 budget for a structural report and design of the municipal office. The motion carried, with Directors Bush and Siddon opposed.