Spaniard's Bay town hall is under construction

Nicholas Mercer
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The Town of Spaniard’s Bay town hall is getting some work done. And, it is more than a fresh coat of paint.

Spaniard's Bay Mayor J. Wayne Smith stands in the newly renovated council chambers at the town hall on March 24.

Earlier this year the town committed $50,000 to refurbish the inside of the building, and to clean up some of the outside ahead of its 50th anniversary.

“The last time the building was renovated was for the town’s 25th anniversary,” said Spaniard’s Bay Mayor J. Wayne Smith.

He figures the town will have spent $40,000 when the final nail is driven later this spring.

“We’ve recycled as much as we could,” said Smith.

There were a couple of reasons for the upgrades. One was to update the building. The ceiling in the downstairs portion was not up to code. As a result, efforts were made to bring it up to snuff.

“We tore down all of the ceiling tiles … and brought it up to fire code,” said Smith.

There was also upgrading done to some of the electrical outlets in the building.

The town has also been looking at making things more accessible.

The door leading from the foyer into town offices will be widened to accommodate wheelchairs, while Smith has looked at installing a chair lift on the staircase. It would make things easier for elderly citizens to attend meetings in the council chambers, which are located upstairs.

While the lift is not yet a part of these renovations, Smith feels the town has things well in hand.

“I think we have a good handle on what we have here now,” he said.

Work almost finished

The town has already completed the majority of the renovations, but there is still some work to be done.

The construction is divided into two areas – upstairs and downstairs.

In the offices on the first floor, Spaniard’s Bay has taken over the space previously rented by the Senior’s Outreach Centre. That service closed last year, opening up the room.

The town ran into some problems when trying to knock out walls and create some space.

“Downstairs used to be doctor’s offices, so it’s been chopped up,” said Smith.

This meant many of the walls are load-bearing partitions and are difficult to move. The town has worked around this, and has opened up the floor plan.

“We needed more office space,” said Smith.

Upstairs, the town has installed new hardwood floor in the council chambers, added new crown moulding and provided councillors with new chairs.

The old chairs, which have been refurbished, have been moved to committee meeting room adjacent to the kitchen area.

“Council thought it would be nice to redo it in time for our 50th anniversary,” said Smith.

Other locations

Renovating the existing building was not the only option on the table when it came to its municipal building.

The town also looked at two more options. These include the construction of a new building and the possible purchase of the old Eastern School District offices across from Restaurant 99.

However, neither of these options was economically feasible for the community.

“We have other things to spend our money on. We have roads that need to be done,” said Smith.

“The building has served its purpose for the last 50 years and with the renovations and everything else, we’re looking to get another 25 years out of (it),” he said.

nmercer@cbncompass.ca

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