South Glengarry municipal office redesign underway

In this May 2018, file photo, the South Glengarry municipal office at 6 Oak Street in Lancaster, Ont. Township council has hired an Ottawa design firm to redesign the inside of the building to address social distancing and security issues. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – With a number of security and social distancing issues in its municipal office, South Glengarry council has given the go-ahead for the first phase to renovate the building’s interior.

Council agreed Monday night to hire J.L. Richards and Associates of Ottawa to do the first phase of architectural design of the Oak Street office. It was one of five firms to bid on the project.

The first phase will cost $7,500 while the second phase, if approved, would be $24,220.

The future floor plan will phase out a lot of the open concept layout of the municipal building, eliminate the large council chambers, and create walled, dedicated offices with a couple of meeting rooms for staff to meet with the public.

Chief Administrative Officer Tim Mills says the coronavirus pandemic has “definitely accelerated the need for the renovations.”

The township had already set aside $50,000 in its budget this year for the project.

J.L. Richards is expected to make a presentation to council on July 20 with its preliminary design and cost of construction.

Meantime, South Glengarry council is still moving its council meetings to Williamstown, once in-person meetings start up again. “We don’t expect much added costs” to set that up at the Char-Lan Recreation Center, Mills said.

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