Airdrie City Council approves schematic design for new multi-purpose facility and library

“Now that we’ve received your feedback, we can pass it on to our consulting team and see what other options are available, all while sticking to the intent with the things you love about the building,” he said.

Airdrie City Council approved a preliminary schematic design of the new multipurpose facility and library at its regular council meeting on September 19, providing feedback and clearing the way for the development phase of the project design.

During the meeting, the design team provided an overview of the design process and explained how they built on the project vision, defined project goals, and implemented the board’s collective input into the meetings. previous board meetings.

Elements of the schematic design presented to the board included a 3D visualization/rendering of the exterior and interior of the building, as well as an exterior and interior color palette, materials and finishes.

Additionally, the design team reviewed floor plans and elevations, conceptual landscaping, and site parking.

“We are thrilled to be back here today and to share the progress we have made since our first visioning sessions earlier this year,” said Stephanie Yeung, Studio Manager at Gibbs Gage Architects during presentation to the board.

“We also hope, by reviewing the drawings in the report, that we will be able to convey the aspirations of the design project team for this building, and also communicate the excitement and potential that we really feel for the building. .”

Yeung added that while the team is confident in its design, it understands that there will be areas that will call for criticism from the board, and that should be expected as part of the design process.

“We still have many months of design process to go through,” she added. “We strongly believe that the main actions taken to date are in line with the project’s objectives.

“We are confident that any concerns raised today can be addressed early in design development, so we can always get your approval to meet the project schedule.”

Previously, council approved the project to proceed to the schematic design phase after approving Conceptual Design Option 1 as presented by Gibbs Gage Architects on May 2. Subsequently, Gibbs Gage and the project design team began work on developing the design.

“At this point, the design is not complete or resolved in any detail, as this is a snapshot of the design process,” reads a board agenda report.

While the design is flexible, Yeung said various elements would be difficult to change at this point in the process without delaying the project or incurring additional redesign costs.

These changes include the positioning of the facility on the site, the major feature locations on the site, and the general size and scale of the facility.

“What can be refined as the project progresses from schematic design to detailed design is the selection and determination of exterior materials, detailed layout of program rooms, layout of glazing and doors and roof design,” the report continues.

Yeung added the design team aiming to create a facility that is a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Airdrie, a facility that offers multiple activities and provides a venue that would serve as a “hub for community development”. .

“We believe the groundwork presented to you in this report achieves these goals,” Yeung said.

She added that the schematic design submission serves as a milestone in the project and equates to approximately 30% completion in the design process. Yeung acknowledged that there is still a lot of work for the team and the board to do.

“It is very important for us to share these ideas with the council, but also crucial for our construction manager to have the document compiled to evaluate and test these schemes against the current market and the established budget,” he said. she declared.

According to Chris Monson, project manager at Colliers Project Leaders, who presented an update on the project at the September 19 board meeting, the multipurpose facility and library are on track to meet the planned budget of 62, $7 million, with $4.853 million committed at this time.

Following the schematic design preview, Coun. Ron Chapman said he “liked” the schematic design as presented, adding that he liked the look of the exterior of the library as depicted.

“It’s not a square building. It gives you something to look at,” he said of the modern design.

Chapman expressed minor concerns about the choice of wood for the exterior of the building, noting that graffiti removal could prove problematic.

“I hate to say it, but if someone gets a spray paint can on wood, it’s a lot harder to get it off than if it were a clad building. I love the whole [idea]but really, I don’t know how it’s going to work when it comes to graffiti,” Chapman said.

Com. Al Jones echoed Chapman’s sentiments, saying the schematic design was better than he had first imagined.

“I couldn’t get that square box out of my head, but you brought it to life on paper and it looks really neat,” he said.

“I like that you’re looking at the durable parts of it because the costs are going up, we know things aren’t getting cheaper. It is a different world in which we pass. I can’t wait to see where this will lead.

Com. Tina Petrow shared the concerns and comments presented at the library’s board meeting, but said she thought the building overall had an “institutional” feel and that the layout work with warmer materials could help create a more welcoming atmosphere.

Com. Candace Kolson also mentioned the “institutional” aspect of the initial schematic design.

“I don’t see any institutional aspect to it at all,” Chapman said in response to his colleague’s claims. “I think it’s very open and inviting. I like what I see in the concept drawings. I trust the professionals. I trust the process.

Additionally, Monson said that in his experience, the design process is an evolution, and for the design team to receive feedback, they needed to come up with a high-level design to gauge board interest.

“Now that we’ve received your feedback, we can pass it on to our consulting team and see what other options are available, all while sticking to the intent with the things you love about the building,” he said.

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