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City of Thunder Bay Official Reopening & Rededication Ceremony for City Hall

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Uploaded on Nov 24, 2009

CITY CELEBRATES OFFICIAL REOPENING OF CITY HALL

November 3, 2009 The official reopening of City Hall took place today with a flag raising and ribbon cutting, as well as a rededication of the Cenotaph in the new Civic Square. There was also a tribute to Thunder Bays first Mayor Saul Laskin, introduction of a bronze sculpture on the outside of City Hall, installation of the original and new time capsules and tours throughout the building.

We have taken full advantage of mandatory work to the outside of the building to create a functional and beautiful civic space,said Mayor Lynn Peterson. The citizens of Thunder Bay now have a more efficient City Hall that reflects our civic pride and gives us a gathering place for civic events.

Safety concerns and maintenance of the building were the initial reasons for the project. Parts of the concrete siding were crumbling off due to rusting hardware. As planning proceeded, additional needs emerged for fully accesible facilities (including wheelchair accessible doors and washroom), a larger, more practical meeting room and more functional civic space for gatherings.

There has been a significant amount of change associated with this project in terms of improved functionality, energy efficiency and a modern look to the building, said Alan Fydirchuk, General Manager of Facilities & Fleet, noting that there will be 22 tonnes reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. When combined with the Civic Square, this completes Initiative #29 of the Building on the New Foundation Strategic Plan, which was to create civic space at City Hall.

To enhance the functionality of the interior of City Hall, a three-storey, 306-sq.-metre addition was included with the improvements. The building now includes a larger public lobby to accommodate public gatherings, a new water wall to greet citizens as they enter, relocations of City Clerks services to the main floor, an enhanced Mayor and City Managers office and reception area, a modernized Council Chambers, well-designed meeting rooms and technological advancements throughout.

The Civic Square in front of City Hall includes a new, large exterior gathering area, a raised area for public addresses, new walkways to the building, enhanced plantings and green space, and a new exterior fountain to complement both the landscaping and the new addition. The Civic Square also respects the exisiting Cenotaph and its importance to Thunder Bays veterans.

Thunder Bay artists John Books and Christopher Stones were commissioned to create a nine-metre bronze relief sculpture for the north face of City Hall. The sculpture, called Terra Firma, features three local tree species in the foreground while the Sleeping Giant is visible in the background.

The following firms, their employees and sub-contractors were acknowledged for their work, together with many City Departments: Prime Consultant KGS Group; Project Architect Leonard Alfred Wood; General Contractor Tom Jones Corporation; and Landscape Architect Werner Schwar.

The success of this project is a result of the co-ordinated consultation process that included Members of Council, Administration and Staff, the Clean, Green and Beautiful Committee, the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Royal Canadian Legion and the Public Art Committee, said Mr. Fydirchuk.

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