Clinic limit set at $2.25-million

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Kincardine council has a message for Parkin Architects: You have $2.25-million to make the clinic addition work.

Councillors and municipal staff discussed the municipality’s instructions to the architects in charge of designing the new building during committee-of-the-whole Oct. 15. The architects are meeting with council Nov. 3, and the municipality wanted to agree on guidelines for the project well ahead of the face-to-face meeting.

Last month, Parkin Architects presented a preliminary design to council with a price tag in upwards of $5-million. Council was expecting the project to cost no more than $2-million or $3-million.

“I think (the architects) brought the proposal to us to see how high we’d jump,” said councillor Marsha Leggett. “We need to go back to the $2-million.”

At its meeting two weeks ago, council instructed staff to set up a meeting with the architects. During this discussion, council would outline specific cost limits and design standards required before the architects move forward. Parkin would then meet with the medical community and alter its designs accordingly.

“We should make a commitment on how much we are willing to spend,” said deputy mayor Laura Haight. “I have no problem with the stakeholders designing it, but it (needs to be designed at) $2-million.”

In its initial instructions to the architects, council had specified an addition of approximately 10,000 sq. ft. and a design that keeps all the doctors on one level. Parkin designed the clinic accordingly, but brought forward a plan that included a separate building for McKechnie Pharmacy.

“The druggist is going way overboard,” said councillor Gord Campbell.

Council decided the upper limit of money was more important to determine than the space requirement. Currently, the clinic is only at 60 per cent capacity and the refinished basement is sitting empty, despite being suitable for workers.

Some councillors have had private discussions with groups that may use the lower level and wants to wait until occupancy agreements are looked into before determining what to do with the space.

Parkin Architects quoted council an estimate of $225 per square foot when determining the building’s cost. Council used that figure to set its limit at $2.25 million.

The architects will also be told to wait on finishing the lower level until it’s determined what its use will be. The Nov. 3 meeting is part of a regularly scheduled council meeting.