Municipal hall adds workspace 

Portable trailers provide temporary space for Resort Experience department

click to enlarge Crane Calculations Crews installed a new workspace for Whistler's Resort Experience department last week
  • Crane Calculations Crews installed a new workspace for Whistler's Resort Experience department last week

Crews are putting the finishing touches on four portable trailers that will provide temporary office space for 13 employees in the municipality’s Resort Experience department (formerly parks and recreation).

The portables were lowered into place by a crane Friday, July 18, and will be open to staff by mid-August, once some functional and aesthetic work is completed to make the 2,000 square feet of space usable. The buildings will not look like trailers, but will have new siding to make them appear permanent and to meet Village Design Guidelines.

The estimated cost of installing the four trailers is just over $800,000, with the backfill costs close to $133,000 and the cost of the trailers pegged at $681,908.

That’s significantly less expensive than a proposed $16 million expansion to municipal hall that was shelved last summer because of the high cost — the original budget for the project was just $5.7 million.

Instead, as recommended by municipal staff, council approved a new budget of $1.7 million for renovations, including the installation of the trailers. Other funds will go to making municipal hall accessible by installing wheelchair ramps on the exterior and a small elevator inside.

The municipal hall building is now more than 30 years old, and originally housed The Keg restaurant. The heating and air conditioning systems have had problems, and the space was becoming overcrowded as new staff have been added over the years.

Kim Thompson, communications officer for the RMOW, stresses that the portables are a temporary solution.

“The space will be used through 2010, when we’ll be looking at making some renovations to the main municipal hall building,” she said. “The portables were always meant to be temporary.”


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