Budget highlights potential upcoming maintenance, repairs to Elevation Place

“With an old building with a lot of technical and mechanical electric systems with water, we’re starting to see some lifecycle repairs and maintenance that we have already been undertaking.”

CANMORE – Elevation Place could be getting some tender loving care in the coming years.

A series of proposed projects in 2023 and 2024 worth an estimated $1.18 million, which aim to give a facelift to the facility as it prepares to hit the decade mark, will be given final consideration when the 2023-24 budget returns to Canmore council for approval Dec 20

“With an old building with a lot of technical and mechanical electric systems with water, we’re starting to see some lifecycle repairs and maintenance that we have already been undertaking,” said Whitney Smithers, the Town’s general manager of municipal infrastructure at a recent finance committee meeting.

“We want to do the condition assessment to try and be more proactive in some of the replacement of systems in the building.”

Elevation Place is one of the most complex buildings owned by the municipality and among the most heavily used, with an estimated 600,000 visits each year.

Opening in 2013, the $39 million facility is 77,000-square-feet and is home to the Canmore Public Library, Canmore Art Guild, climbing gym and pool and several other recreation spots.

Funding for the projects would come from a series of reserves, potential grant funding and taxes.

The lifecycle repairs and maintenance project is requested at $300,000 from the asset rehabilitation and replacement reserve. A further $266,000 is recommended to come from general capital reserve for cooling enhancements for three separate rooms. According to the project scope, the design would take place in 2023 and work would be done in 2024.

If passed, the budget would also include $500,000 in 2024 for a condition assessment and potential repairs based on need.

Lifecycle studies, which would examine exterior walls and masonry, the roof and mechanical systems among others, would recommend any necessary fixes. The budget scope estimates the studies will cost about $150,000 and repairs could potentially cost $350,000.

The boom lift that is primarily used in Elevation Place is recommended for replacement, at a projected cost of $100,000 to come from MSI provincial funding. The 35-foot high lift is often used in elevation places for light repairs, high dusting, sprinkler system inspections, window cleaning and maintenance. If approved, the goal is to look at a boom lift higher than the existing 35-foot one.

There is also an ask for $20,000 to be spent on two electric vehicle chargers at Elevation Place, and an additional $20,000 for chargers at the recreation center. The funding would come from operating capital, but there are potential federal government and Municipal Climate Change Action Center grants to cover costs.

The 2025 operating plan also has an estimated $80,000 request to help rabbit-proof the building, but deliberations for the project wouldn’t take place until late 2024.

Smithers said there are some immediate needs for replacement and maintenance of equipment such as chemical controllers for some of the pools, the steam generator for the steam room and waterproofing of pool gutters.

“We see ongoing annual needs to replace stuff. This is where we’re likely headed with Elevation Place giving the complexity of the building and the age of the facility,” she said.

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