The Government Conference Centre’s $190-million transformation into a temporary home for the Senate should mean plenty of work for local contractors.
© Kane Van Ee
The Government Conference Centre at the corner of Rideau Street and Colonel By Drive.
The venerable heritage building at 2 Rideau St. near Confederation Square, which was opened in 1912 as Ottawa’s central train station, hasn’t undergone any major renovations since the 1970s and is in “critical condition,” according to government documents.
Public Works and Government Services Canada says that starting in 2018, the Conference Centre will likely need to house the Senate for up to 10 years while its facilities in the Centre Block are rehabilitated.
The project requires the construction of an interim Senate Chamber, about 21 offices, three committee rooms and support spaces at the Conference Centre.
The hard construction budget for the Conference Centre’s overhaul is $91.4 million, according to tender documents, with an additional $25 million budgeted for IT connectivity, furniture, signage and equipment.
Among the work that needs to be done is limited excavation, structural upgrades, masonry restoration, replacement of obsolete mechanical and electrical systems, new IT infrastructure and equipment, a new loading dock, interior fit-up and landscaping.
The tender, which closed about two weeks ago, calls for an architectural firm to be hired to oversee the project.
It will be supported by a team of subconsultants that will include a conservation architect, masonry conservator, structural engineer with heritage building conservation specialty, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, security specialist and an interior designer.
Construction is expected to start next June, and the work must be done by September 2018 when the Senate moves in. Eventually, the building will revert to its previous use as a government conference facility, the documents say.
A threat and risk assessment of the building is currently under way.