Cataraqui Conservation and Frontenac County to share joint administrative office building

The picturesque landscape along Battersea Road in Glenburnie will see some changes in the coming year as the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) and Frontenac County come together to share a new joint administrative office space.

Rendering of the new administrative office space to be shared by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and Frontenac County, located at 2069 Battersea Road in Glenburnie. The project is currently under construction. Rendering by Colebourne & Kembel Architects Inc.

According to Frontenac County, the two organizations have agreed to a plan to share joint administrative facilities in “an expanded and fully renovated building,” which is currently under construction at 2069 Battersea Road. The address is that of the current Frontenac County administrative offices, which are both adjacent and connected to Fairmount Home, a County-run long-term-care facility. Both organizations formed a task force to look into the concept of sharing joint office space in more than two years ago, and the finalization of the agreement was announced this week.

“With this new partnership, Frontenac County and Cataraqui Conservation staff, councillors, and board members will have access to badly needed modern and energy-efficient offices and workspaces,” Frontenac County Warden Denis Doyle said in a press release on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

“It’s a way for our two organizations to collaborate and to share some costs and resources while providing the most efficient delivery of services possible to our clients and constituents. Sharing meeting rooms and entrances has the added benefit of lowering our overall carbon footprint.”

The current CRCA administrative building, located at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area off of Perth Road in Glenburnie, was built in 1974, the County said, noting the building is inadequate for Cataraqui Conservation’s needs, and is also in need of structural repairs. Similarly, the current administrative offices for Frontenac County includes a “lightly renovated century farmhouse,” and are inadequate for the offices and spaces required, according to the county.

“To repair and renovate both administrative buildings would be much more expensive and less efficient than combining resources to build and share a single new, modern building with flexible, collaborative space to meet the needs of both organizations,” Frontenac County relayed.

Those with the CRCA echoed the County on the decision.

“Cataraqui Conservation has long outgrown our administrative building,” said Cataraqui Conservation Board Chair Paul McAuley.

“By working together with our Frontenac County colleagues, we will better equip staff for the future while saving valuable financial resources for the increasingly critical work of environmental protection and conservation.”

According to Frontenac County, the project is expected to take just over a year to complete, with a cost of $4.5 million. Those costs will be covered jointly by both the County and Cataraqui Conservation, with the CRCA leasing their portion of the space from Frontenac County. The funds from each organization will be split in accordance with their respective portions of space — 31.8 per cent of the square footage will be allocated to CRCA, and 68.2 per cent will be allocated to Frontenac County, according to County documents. The estimated cost of CRCA’s lease – which is a 21-year term – would be “$120,839 per year, based on the total cost of the building and a 31.8 per cent allocation of costs determined by its share of dedicated space.”

Additionally, each organization will be responsible for their own furniture costs (estimated at $4,000 per person, according to County documents), as well as “design and project management fees,” which are estimated at $363,558 to be shared between the CRCA and the County, and are “assumed to be paid up front,” and “in accordance with the square footage allocation.”

The project has been designed by Colbourne & Kembel Architects Inc., with the construction contract awarded to Emmons & Mitchell Construction Ltd., who provided the lowest of four bids on the project ($4,490,000).

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