Committee struck to study office space
Move is final phase to find room for all city staff
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013 06:00 am
A committee of five members of the community will study how much space civic staff will need in the future.
Council on Monday night approved a terms of reference for a civic office space committee. The committee will begin work in 2014, examining the city’s space requirements for the next five to 20 years and making recommendations.
Options laid out in the terms of reference include having city office space at different locations throughout the city or consolidating all personnel under one roof.
Once the committee presents its final report, the city would create a working group to implement its recommendations.
“The intent here is to have five members of the community to wade through a series of options of what we might look at,” said city manager Patrick Draper.
Over the summer council approved a four-phase civic office space plan, which reaffirmed St. Albert Place’s role as a community cultural centre. The first two phases of the plan are underway, which included finding lease space in the community and moving some staff members to the city’s new MIG building, which was acquired to provide more office space for the RCMP. It appears Family and Community Support Services will be moving to the MIG building.
The third phase, looking at how the city can best maximize its space and subsequently relocating more staff, will be completed this year.
Draper said he wants the members of the new committee to have some experience with office management.
“We’re looking for expert opinion relative to office space, trends and leasing,” Draper said. “We’d like them to have some knowledge and expertise within the office space environment.”
St. Albert Place has become cramped as administration has added more employees. Closets and meeting rooms have been converted into workspaces, leaving few meeting rooms available for use, and most hallways are so narrow only person can walk through at a time.
Draper acknowledged the 20-year time frame proposed to the committee might not be long enough, but it was difficult to predict lease costs for a longer period.
“I think we all approve of seeking advice from the community,” said Coun. Cathy Heron. “This is city hall. The majority of the public will come here for business and this building has to be the face of the city.”