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../Morning Post
Posted August 25 , 2010

Work to begin soon on KPL expansion and new underground parking garage

KITCHENER – Another step has been taken toward enhancing the Civic District and the quality of life of the community, through the renovation and expansion of the Kitchener public library’s headquarters (KPL) and the construction of a new underground parking structure adjacent to the main library, in preparation for construction work to begin on both projects this fall.

Earlier on August 23, 2010, the finance and corporate services committee endorsed a two-fold plan to cover the remaining parking-structure project costs, by increasing the maximum amount to be debentured to $5.8 million in 2011. Councillors will also consider reducing the actual amount of the debenture through allocation of parking development charges as part of the 2011 budget process.

The 412-space, three-level underground structure will address the library’s parking needs, as well as the parking needs of its Civic District neighbours, including the Centre in the Square and K-W Art Gallery, the Region of Waterloo, the Registry Theatre and the future consolidated courthouse.

While the original budget identified in the business case projected a cost of $18.54 million, it became apparent during the detailed design that costs for the underground parking structure would rise due to the following factors:

* The need for two access ramps to accommodate the linear nature of the garage and future expansion.
* Expanded stairwells/elevators to accommodate users’ ultimate destinations but also peak vehicular and pedestrian flows from the Centre in the Square.
* Significant infrastructure relocation due to spanning Ahrens Street, including storm and sanitary sewers.
* Extensive shoring requirements to protect the historic Gaol wall and library.

These factors, plus higher concrete prices and the new harmonized sales tax, have increased project costs to $24.52 million.

In total, the city is only responsible for the costs associated with the parking debenture. The rest of the construction project costs will be covered by the Province of Ontario, the Region of Waterloo and the KPL.

The construction of the Civic District parking garage will allow the city to meet its obligations to the province in the provision of 200 parking spaces in the new provincial courthouse, the parking generated by the KPL expansion, the parking generated by regional offices, as well as event parking related to the Centre in the Square.

Construction of the garage will be completed by the fall of 2012 with the library scheduled to be complete in early 2013.

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