• John Jantak

Senneville hires consulting firm for new town hall project


Senneville adopted a resolution at the March 23 council meeting to hire a private consulting firm to determine the best location and design for its new town hall.

A resolution was adopted at March 23 Senneville council meeting to grant a mandate for professional architectural, urban and landscape design services to a private consulting firm to determine the best location and design for the village’s new town hall. Mayor Jane Guest said council’s decision to retain the services of Lupien and Matteau was made to make sure the three options the village is considering are properly assessed before a final decision is made on where the new town hall will be located.

One of the three options would be to demolish the current town hall, a former residence on Senneville Road and build the new facility on the same site. The other two options are to relocate the town hall near the George McLeish Community Centre in the park close to Morningside Drive or on the site of the old water filtration building on Senneville Road.

“We hired the consulting firm because we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned,” Guest told Your Local Journal. “All three different sites have their pros and cons. We want to make sure that we consider every aspect – architecture, landscaping, traffic circulation, and the environmental, public and social impact it will have on our community.” Guest said each location has its own unique dynamic and the final design of the town hall would have to conform within the parameters specific to each site.

She added that after the three proposals are thoroughly reviewed, council will be in a better position to choose the best option. The final report is expected to be delivered by June and Guest is hopeful that construction could begin by fall. “It will have to go to tender first,” she said. “We would like to have a shovel in the ground this fall. Whether this ends up happening or not, that has to be determined.

“It would be ideal to have it built in the winter months so it can be ready by late spring 2016,” Guest added. “But that will also be determined by which location we choose.” One of the benefits of having the new town hall located in the park near the community centre is that it would give the area a better sense of community spirit, Guest said.

“The idea is if we build the new town hall there, it will create a little central village which we don’t have. It’s also where our tennis courts are, our swimming pool and playing fields.” Guest said a new town hall is long overdue because the current building has outlived its usefulness. She added that the two previous municipal administrations had initially proposed a new building and it’s now time to move forward and proceed with the project.

Residents will be able to voice their comments and make suggestions during a special information meeting which will be held after the final report is presented to council. “We want to have all the information before we present it to the citizens,” said Guest. “Some people feel very strongly about keeping it where it is and others feel the other proposals are an interesting idea,” Guest added.

“Our final decision will depend on all these different variables. We’ve already evaluated the infrastructure costs, the pros and cons of one location over another as well, so all these factors will be taken into consideration.”