At a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, Kingston City Council will deliberate over a proposed $3.7 million budget request for a restoration project at the Hanson Memorial Parking Garage. According to a staff report circulating ahead of the meeting, the money would come from the Parking Fund Reserve, ahead of the 2024 municipal budget deliberations. “The request is being made in advance to ensure that the project is not delayed and can commence in the first quarter of 2024,” the report stated.
Staff noted that the parking garage requires a “routine structural maintenance and waterproofing renewal project.” According to the report, the last time such work took place at the garage was in 2016. In 2021, the City hired consultants to complete an assessment of the structure and to develop a 30-year expenditure plan for the facility. That report recommended a “large-scale rehabilitation project” be undertaken in 2022 and repeated on a seven-year cycle.
The City’s Parking Operations department carried out a similar restoration project at the Bruce Memorial Parking Structure in 2022, and that work at the Chown Memorial Parking Structure is currently ongoing, staff noted.
According to staff, the project at the Hanson Garage will include repairing structural deterioration at the facility, such as “slabs, walls, and stairs.” Earlier this year, the garage made headlines after pieces of concrete fell onto a vehicle parked at the facility. While the City deemed the matter “non-urgent,” the staff report noted that the incident led some members of the public to question the structural safety of the garage. Staff added, “Ensuring the restoration project planned for this structure moves forward expeditiously will help to address concerns.”
The report goes on to state that crews will also clean corrosion and repaint steel beams, columns, doors, walls, and handrails. Meanwhile, the garage’s existing fluorescent lighting fixtures will be replaced with LED panels. Aside from structural repairs, the rehabilitation project will also see improvements made to the garage’s waterproofing infrastructure, including the replacement of the existing membrane system over the parking deck.
Staff have begun to prepare a detailed list of the work that will need to be completed as part of the project, and the report notes the plan is currently in its design phase. Later this fall, should this budget request be approved by council, staff are expected to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for construction services.
According to the report, the decision to issue an RFP in late 2023, in advance of the 2024 project start-up, was made for several reasons. By issuing an RFP in late 2023, the successful contractor will be able to start work early next year, “[which] will improve the likelihood that they will be able to finish within a single year,” staff wrote. If the City were to wait until 2024 to initiate an RFP, the project would likely be delayed into early 2025.
Staff also explained in the report that by procuring work early, the City will be able to generate more competitive pricing from prospective contractors, “who have not yet filled their 2024 schedules.” Such a process will also allow staff more time to review submissions and select the most competitive applicant before work begins in the spring. Staff added, “Allowing more time for each of these steps makes for a more streamlined project, which reduces the risk for problems, delays and change order claims during construction.”
As for the budgetary impact of the project, the work is expected to cost $3.7 million, which includes construction, consulting, permits, and contingency. “Staff are requesting capital budget approval from council in advance of 2024 budget deliberations so that this important project can continue to move forward without delay and for the lowest cost possible,” stated the report. Staff go on to note there are sufficient funds in the Municipal Parking Reserve to cover the costs of the project.
The staff recommendation will be presented to council for debate during its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, at 7 p.m. inside Council Chambers. Full meeting agendas are available on the City of Kingston website. Meetings are open to the public and can be streamed live (or viewed after) on the Kingston City Council YouTube page.