flagstaff county shop site aerial 300 copy copy copySince being built in 1975, the current Maintenance Shop has served as the Sedgewick-based hub of a distributed network of County facilities used to store equipment and materials to support a wide variety of County operations.

However, aging infrastructure and moisture issues with inherent health and safety concerns combined with a lack of space to maintain and repair our growing fleet of equipment – factors initially identified in 2012 – have necessitated that we build a new Maintenance Shop.

Over the past 42 years, the size of our fleet has more than quadrupled, from approximately 50 pieces of equipment in 1975 to 214 pieces today. That growth has paralleled rising public expectations, along with increased demands, including the recent additions of the Hamlets of Strome and Galahad now under the County’s governance.

The larger fleet requires additional maintenance inspections, as well as servicing and repair, throughout the year. In addition, 47 commercial vehicle inspections are conducted annually (each inspection can take between one and five days to complete). Each individual piece of equipment is also much larger in 2017 compared to 1975. We are simply unable to accommodate more than four decades of growth and progress within our current facility.

Fortunately, now is a good time to build. In order to ensure efficient cost savings and capitalize on current market conditions, construction is targeted to begin in the summer of 2017 with completion by the spring of 2018. Rather than tearing down the current building, it will be used primarily for storage.

MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative) grant funding is earmarked for the bulk of the project. Remaining costs are expected to be covered by Building Reserves. No debenture borrowing will be required.

Four phases of the project have been outlined:

1. Planning Phase 3. Construction Phase

2. Design Phase 4. Occupancy/Closeout Phase

As part of the Planning Phase, a needs assessment study has been conducted to identify the functional needs of the new Maintenance Shop, including the amount of space required, how that space is divided into functional uses (mechanics bays, storage bays, wash bays, welding bay, office/administration space, washroom/changeroom, lunchroom, training/meeting rooms, mechanical/electrical/support, etc.), and how those functional spaces relate to each other. The findings have been used to develop a draft Needs Assessment and Proposed Project Plan report, which has been approved by both the Building Committee and Council.

Among the next steps in the process, interested contractors are being invited to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the provision of Design Build services for the Maintenance Shop Expansion Project. Once submissions are received, utilizing evaluation criteria set out in the RFP, administration will shortlist 2 to 3 contractors, who will then be invited to present to the Building Committee. Once all presentations are completed, the Building Committee will re-evaluate and make a recommendation to Council for approval.

Throughout this process, our goal is to be transparent and open. To that end, we will keep the public apprised of the project’s progress through regular newsletters and online updates through Flagstaff County’s social media channels and website. A public open house will be scheduled in the near future.

For further information, please contact Cary Castagna, Communications Coordinator, at (780) 384-4134.