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RDKB looking at future of Grand Forks board office

Faced with potentially more than $1 million in repairs to its Grand Forks office, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is considering its options.

Deputy chief administrator James Chandler said the RDKB commissioned a study of the building envelope including walls, roof, windows, doors and airflow.

It found those aspects alone need $1.13 million worth of improvements. A staff report to the board last week noted that doesn’t including other building deficiencies, nor future growth and system upgrades for mechanical and IT systems, which could cost another $250,000. Add to that some potential hazardous material abatement.

“When we learned about those numbers and the scope of the work, it’s not insignificant by any means,” Chandler said. “So it was time to talk to the board about what do we do?”

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Chandler said whatever they decide to do will require significant investment, so they need to make a decision that will last 20 to 40 years.

Last week the board gave staff the go-ahead to investigate options in more detail.

“They’re supportive of us to do some feasibility [work] to look at options, including maintaining the building as it exists today to alternative properties to building new.

“Where we go in the future, we don’t know, but the board has supported we need to be more informed about these options before making a decision.”

Chandler said the existing building’s concrete block walls don’t provide much thermal insulation to keep things cool in the summer nor warm in the winter, while the same goes for more than half the windows and the roof, which provides minimal insulation by modern standards.

He added the analysis is expected to be added to the budget and regional district work plan for 2024. He didn’t expect a decision on the fate of the Grand Forks office until well into the middle of next year.

The office at 2140 Central Avenue was built in 1969.

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