Regional District of Central Kootenay administrator Brian Carruthers displays one of the conceptual drawings for the organization's new space plan.

RDCK space crunch closer to solution

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will seek bids this month on renovations to fit more bodies into its Nelson headquarters.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is expected to seek bids this month on renovations to fit more bodies into its Nelson headquarters.

Chief administrator Brian Carruthers says they’re looking at changes to interior wall configurations, electrical data cabling, and heating and ventilation to accommodate the proposed space plan. They’re also buying new furniture to replace bulkier pieces that in some cases pre-date the present office, which opened in 2000.

Tenders are expected to close in the first week of April, with a report to the board the same month. If approved, the renos will begin in May and the entire project should wrap up by the end of June.

Carruthers said the project will be done in phases to minimize the impact on staff and the public.

“There is going to be some inconvenience, but it certainly won’t impede the operation of the RDCK,” he said. “We’ll make alternate arrangements within the building for work area while [the renos] are taking place. Hopefully the public won’t notice much disruption.”

Once finished the public will, however, notice a more compact front counter where there is presently a large foyer. Client rooms will also be added where people can meet with staff privately.

The changes are expected to accommodate the existing workforce of about 50 as well as up to eight more people scattered throughout the building if the organization grows.

Carruthers called it a “mid-term” solution that should get them through the next five to ten years, but if staff does outgrow the building, the water services division could be moved off site.

He added that if the office ever relocates entirely, they will be able to take their furniture with them. “The whole idea is to look at our needs and use modern, efficient office furnishings that recognize we may not need as much desk space as 20 years ago when we were very paper-oriented. Much of our work is now done electronically.”

Another key part of the plan is a high-density filing system that will centralize the district’s documents, currently spread throughout the building. “It’s going to free up a fair amount of square footage in our office, which in part allows us to increase the staffing capacity,” Carruthers said.

The office’s current configuration evolved piecemeal, without an overall plan, leading to some cramped quarters and awkward spaces, he said.

The board approved hiring a space planner following a committee’s recommendation to remain at 202 Lakeside Drive. Graphic Office Solutions produced two options, one worth about $400,000 and another estimated at just under $600,000, with the work will be paid for out of a building reserve fund.

The plan was in some doubt after the City of Nelson approached the regional district with an offer to share space with the White Building, but that idea was shot down in January.

Carruthers said he still expects the space plan to fall within the initial cost range.

202 Lakeside Drive: RDCK HQ

In addition to the board room, the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Nelson office at 202 Lakeside Drive is home to the RDCK’s administration, finance, human resources, community and environmental services staff plus emergency management and information technology.

Other district employees work at recreation complexes in Nelson, Castlegar, and Creston, at numerous landfills and transfer stations across the region, and at a satellite office in Nakusp.

Overall, the RDCK has more than 300 staff providing 163 services to taxpayers including recreation, parks, building inspection, bylaw enforcement, recycling and waste disposal, and maintenance of small water systems.

Just Posted

Nelson CARES to buy Hall-Front development for affordable housing

A $4.5-million investment from the provincial government has been committed to the deal

Aimee Watson elected RDCK chair

The representative for North Kootenay Lake took over this week

Glacier Gymnastics to add multi-purpose room

The expanded space will help accommodate the popular after-school programming

Woman searching for father last seen in Nelson in 1999

Frank Johnson’s daughter, Chandra Machin, is searching for her father

Tour company plans shuttle service to Kelowna for stranded travellers

SMT Kootenay wants to help travellers get in and out of ‘Cancelgar’ in winter months

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

B.C. referendum ballot count jumps to 18% returned, Elections B.C. says

New count adds ballots received, but not screened for authenticity

Dead killer whale discovered on Nootka Island

“This is very concerning to our people.”

Most Read