The Town of Georgina is moving forward with a redesign of the replacement Civic Centre. After much work, analysis and discussion, Council endorsed the plan allowing the Town to resume its progress on the replacement Civic Centre project under a revised Workplace Strategy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and this redesign is a reflection of that new reality,” said Mayor Margaret Quirk. “Georgina, like many municipalities, directed most staff to work from home, wherever possible, due to the pandemic. Our staff adapted to this new work environment and the Town has been able to deliver services with few disruptions. This reimagining of the replacement Civic Centre will allow us to move forward with this project by reducing the size of the building while still allowing for future growth.”
The updated Workplace Strategy determined the replacement Civic Centre had to be changed to a centralized hub with a work-from-home approach. This offers a hybrid model that provides opportunities to streamline service delivery and facility functions. Based on the reassessment of the needs and the updated Workplace Strategy, the size of the replacement Civic Centre could be reduced by a range of 12,000 to 16,000 square feet.
The increased work-from-home approach explores space allocation and reduced office occupancy, which allows for potential design modifications such as seat sharing, and related policies and technology, which are efficient and effective strategies to accommodate a reduced office occupancy.
While the re-use of portions of the current Civic Centre facility is not impossible, it is unlikely to provide a financially and functionally viable long-term solution to address the current (pre-and-post COVID) future needs of the Town. The replacement Civic Centre building will outperform the retrofit/expansion options providing some features that may include:
- Functional design providing flexibility for future use, municipal use and expansion
- Open floor plan which allows for diverse Town programming and non-Town related programming to be accommodated such as hosting public committees and vendor-selected businesses such as educational clinics
- Improved efficiency, space utilization and energy usage
- Enhanced environmental system sustainability such as variable frequency drive controlled mechanical equipment, LED lighting, etc.
- Safe ecosystem for staff and the public to protect against unknowns such as COVID-19
- A flat roof that allows a standard HVAC system to allow for better airflow distribution
- Easily meet current legislative requirements, including AODA
- Reduce structural limitations which is a major hurdle to retrofitting the current building
- Provide a healthy and fully accessible building and work environment, leading to increased productivity
- Avoid costs associated with multiple moves and provide the public with a more convenient experience
- Avoid work, service or business interruption
- Provide dedicated public and staff areas
- Accommodate potential/future partnership
- Augmentation of building service areas efficiently
The updated Workplace Strategy was based on key recommendations and considerations, including work from home and increased remote access to services. With the expectation that customers will shift to virtual service methods, it allows the size and capacity of service counters to be decreased while also providing additional power/data in the public area to support potential self-service kiosks in the future.
To learn more about the replacement Civic Centre, visit georgina.ca/BuildingGeorgina.