CHETWYND MUNICIPAL CENTRE
5400 Hospital Road, Chetwynd, B.C.
Grand Opening December 17, 2015
The story of Chetwynd’s new Municipal Centre starts back about 33 years ago, when the Council and Administration of the day, (then Mayor Charles Lasser and Council members Marion Hoover, Vern Braaten, Willard Dunn, Mike Schmok, Bob Shirley and Joan Temple, together with Administrator Andy Teslyk), first set serious sights on the construction of a new Municipal Hall, or a significant addition to the existing municipal offices, for the Village of Chetwynd.
In 2009, under the leadership of Mayor Evan Saugstad, together with Councillors Laverne Norris, Bob Nicholson, Merlin Nichols, Joanne Roberts, Brenda Maisey, Kathy Weaver and Administrator Mike Redfearn, Council set aside the first financial contribution towards a new municipal facility into a special reserve fund.
In 2011, Mayor Merlin Nichols and his Council, consisting of Councillors Bob Nicholson, Ernest Pfanner, Laura Weisgerber, Rochelle Galbraith, Don Harris and Alec Brownlee, together with Chief Administrative Officer D.B. (Doug) Fleming leading the administrative team, began a planning process for a new municipal facility for the District of Chetwynd. Initially, Council reviewed two concepts for a building. A decision was made on the building style and it was further decided to construct the new building on lands owned by the municipality on the same parcel as the existing complex, but immediately to the south.
The ‘old’ municipal office would ultimately be repurposed as the community’s new Visitor Services Centre, a function of the District of Chetwynd. The once temporary (32 years later) Atco trailer units supporting Council Chambers, Economic Development, By-law Services, Building Inspection and Engineering would eventually be offered to Powder King Ski Resort for staff accommodations (a great savings to the municipality in removal of the aged structures).
Final design concepts for the new building were developed and eventually the project was tendered. As a result of surprisingly high tenders returned, Council and staff went back to the drawing board, cutting the project back wherever possible, without compromising the integrity of the original concept, or the quality of the finished product. The project was retendered and the result was a project that could proceed within the budget limits established of 4.8 million dollars (including building, servicing and landscaping).
A town hall meeting was held in Spring 2013 to share the building concept with the community. Overwhelming support from the community assured Council members that they were on the right track with the building project. The new Hall was meant to showcase the community of Chetwynd, to be an example representative of the exceptional citizens of the community, and to demonstrate Council’s desire and willingness to invest in a community in which they were in turn themselves marketing for new development investment.
Project design planning started in January, 2013. A Municipal Hall Planning Steering Committee consisting, over time, of administrative staff members Doug Fleming, Jannene Disher, Carol Newsom, Deanne Ennis, Bill Caldwell, Kevin Franson, and Paul Gordon managed the project from start up to completion, ensuring Council’s desires for quality and budget management were closely followed. The actual building construction component was started in the Summer of 2013, with substantial completion being reached in December of 2015.
The Architects, Field and Associates, from Grande Prairie developed the design and plans for the building. Southwest Design and Construction, also from Grande Prairie, was awarded the construction contract.
This project is the result of teamwork and the combined efforts of many individuals over a significant number of years to bring realization to a beautiful and functional new municipal complex for the community of Chetwynd. The project was funded mostly from Fair Share (Peace Region Agreement) dollars, funds from Council’s Sustainability Reserve Fund and through some modest community donations.
Mayor Merlin Nichols and Councillors Ernest Pfanner, Laura Weisgerber, Rochelle Galbraith, Alec Brownlee, Clay Bassendowski and Mel Deck will celebrate an official Dedication Ceremony in the Spring of 2016.
Photos of the new Municipal Office can be viewed by clicking on the link below.