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Jasper library and cultural centre progressing


Library and Cultural Centre in November 2015. | N. Veerman photo

The library and cultural centre is officially three years overdue, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel for the long beleaguered expansion and renovation project.

The three projects that had been holding up construction for the past few months are now done or nearly done, according to Mark Fercho, the municipality’s chief administrative officer.

“We finally have some progress on those items,” he said during the Feb. 9 committee-of-the-whole meeting, referring to the glass vestibule at the entrance of the building, a piece of flooring in the heritage building and the stairwells, which, aside from the installation of the railings, are complete.

Those three areas need to be finished before construction is considered substantially complete. Fercho said on Feb. 19 he will be meeting with Stantec and Delnor, the project’s architect and contractor, for a site inspection to determine what still needs to be done for the building to reach completion.

“We’re going to go through the final list of items that are still required to be completed and those that have been completed to agree on where we are in terms of payment and to make a plan for completion, start up and turnover of the building,” he said.

After that meeting, Fercho said he should have a new completion date for the project.

The last date he gave was January 2016, which passed like the many other completion dates that came before it.

When construction began on the library and cultural centre project, it was slated for completion in January 2013, but over the course of the next four years, numerous construction errors and unforeseen issues delayed the project—with the contractor having to redo numerous projects after the roof, walls, floors, stairs, windows and mechanical system were all improperly installed or designed.

In December 2014—nearly two years past the building’s original opening date—the municipality announced a new completion date of September 2015, but that date, as well as the subsequent Oct. 2 completion date, came and went.

In November 2015, council heard that the plan was to have the building substantially completed by January 2016 and that an opening date would follow shortly after.

Since December 2014, council has been provided with a monthly progress report at the first committee-of-the-whole meeting of the month.

The report highlights what the contractor completed the month prior, as well as the work planned for that month.

The Feb. 9 report includes 18 bullet points, with tasks that have already been completed and tasks that still need to be done during the month of February, including the inspection of handicap lifts, the installation of countertops, ceramic tiles and plumbing fixtures, final paint touch ups and the continuation of site cleanup, both inside and outside.

Fercho’s next report to council is due March 8.

Nicole Veerman


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