Design and construction next for Queen's Bench

Austin M.
Austin M. Davis
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The Court of Queen’s Bench is taking steps towards being operational again after the ceiling collapse in September.

The Queen's Bench courthouse was closed Sept. 20, after a portion of the ceiling was found hanging low. The ceiling has since collapsed.

Richard Murray, assistant deputy minister of property manager for central services said the building is heated again and the debris has been cleaned up.

“Back in October, our big priority at that time was getting the boilers back up so that we could have some heat in the facility before the cold weather inevitably hit, and that was successful,” Murray said.

As for the debris, Murray said all of it has been removed.

“That’s not just from the second-floor courtroom where the ceiling gave way, but also other areas of the building where there was pretty extensive water damage or other damage from falling material and broken water pipes,” Murray said.

He said the focus is now on design and construction.

“We just did a request for proposals (RFP) looking for a design firm to help us do a design for the new construction and we are within days of settling on awarding that contract,” Murray said.

The selected firm will work closely with the Heritage Conservation Branch to maintain the original heritage features in the new design.

The Court of Queen’s Bench building is over 100 years old and is a designated National Historic Site of Canada.

“We don’t want to lose the heritage features from that important building,” Murray said.

After the design is finalized, another RFP will be issued for construction firms.

Though the steps have been set for getting the Court of Queen’s Bench operational again, Murray couldn’t estimate when everything will be finished.

The financial burden of the roof collapse was also unclear to him on Monday.

“We’ll have a better sense of that once we get the design pinned down,” Murray said.

Organizations: Queen's, Heritage Conservation Branch, National Historic Site

Geographic location: Canada

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