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First tender bids for new Argyle admin building ‘significantly over budget’

Exterior illustration of the Municipality of Argyle’s new net-zero energy administration building by Wild Salt Architecture.
Exterior illustration of the Municipality of Argyle’s new net-zero energy administration building by Wild Salt Architecture. - Eric Bourque

Plan is to maintain new facility’s proposed size and net-zero energy component

The Municipality of Argyle is committed to its budget for its new municipal administration building, says Argyle CAO Alain Muise.

As of Nov. 5, the municipality had received three tender bids for construction of a new admin facility and all three “were significantly over budget,” Muise said.

The municipality has set a budget of $3.85 million for the project.

“We are committed to our budget, therefore we will first determine the cause for the higher bids and adjust our project where needed,” Muise said. “We will not be sacrificing the size of the building or the net-zero energy component, as these are critical parts of our new building.”

The new facility will be built on Route 308 in Tusket.

Designed by Wild Salt Architecture, a south shore firm, the project has been described as the first of its kind in Canada, with a number of unique design features.

Architect Graham Edgar has said energy efficiency is just one of the notable aspects of the project.

“The building design draws heavily on the culture and history of the district, which is exactly what residents asked for,” he said this summer as the municipality was preparing to issue a tender call for the project. “It’s not your typical institutional office building.”

The initial tender deadline had been in August, but it was pushed back to late September.

The new building will replace the Municipality of Argyle’s administration facility on Courthouse Road in Tusket, which has served as the municipality’s administrative home for over four decades.

The building is close to 70 years old and there are a number of issues with it, including lack of wheelchair accessibility, numerous code violations, inefficient wiring, heat and lighting, lack of storage/office space and insufficient parking.

It was the spring of 2016 – following a public consultation process that included an online survey and public meetings – when the Municipality of Argyle announced it would build a new facility to house its administrative offices.

At first, the municipality had planned to construct its new building on land it owned, but early in 2017 Argyle council decided to turn to the public to see what other options might be available.

The new facility will be built across the road from Del Agency and Acker & Doucette Surveying. A major section of the land where the building will be constructed was donated.

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