Highlands East is maintaining its buildings well but is being dragged down by problem structures like the Cardiff pool, according to an assessment presented Nov. 12.

WalterFedy, a Kitchener-based architectural and engineering firm, reported to council about its findings from municipal building condition assessments. They covered all 34 municipally-owned buildings, delving into their state of repair and usage.

The firm found most buildings are in good condition. However, a couple of notable exceptions dragged the municipality down to an overall “fair” rating under a Facility Condition Index (FCI), a financial metric which assesses the cost of continuing to repair a building instead of replacing it.

Ken Nelson complimented the municipality’s maintenance practices.

“There’s a really good pattern of regular maintenance being done and planned replacements being done,” Nelson said. “Shows there’s interest and concern to keep things functioning. A lot of clients I work for, I don’t see that.”

But he singled out some buildings as problems. First was the Cardiff pool, which Nelson said needs replacement as the change rooms and pool basin are deteriorating.

“The change room no longer meets code mandated requirements,” Nelson said. “Pool basin aged past a normal lifecycle.”

He estimated replacing the facility would cost approximately $2.5 million. Recognizing that as a high cost to bear, he added the municipality could instead fix the change rooms for approximately $690,000 and conduct ongoing maintenance of the basin.

“That will give you five, 10 years maybe but eventually, consideration has to be given to replacing that,” he said.

Nelson also called out the Glamorgan equipment shelter and said it’s “falling apart.” He recommended there be an assessment of its functional need. If it is needed, he suggested it could be combined with other municipal buildings nearby.

He also identified the Highland Grove fire station as being in poor condition, though added a municipal workshop attached to it is still good. He said the station was too small for the three vehicles parked inside it.

“In terms of general next steps, keep up good maintenance,” Nelson said. “The proactive practices that I saw during my visit were very good.”

Council voted to receive the delegation as information

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