Here, this morning, August 28, at 8:30 a.m., South Dundas officially opened for business in the municipality’s new headquarters, the South Dundas Municipal Centre.
While the $4.1 million renovation project to refit the old Morrisburg High School, that broke ground December 6, 2012, is not yet complete, the second and third floors of the building, are ready to welcome its first new tenants.
The second and third floors are the domain of the municipality.
Only days before the municipality moved in, reporters were allowed to tour the facility.
The most striking features of the building, and the thing that many of those who will work there like best, is the many large windows that give the building a bright, airy atmosphere. Not only do they provide a great view overlooking surrounding Morrisburg, they fill the building with beautiful daylight and they can be opened too.
Those who visit the South Dundas Municipal Centre for municipal business will enter go to the second floor where they will be greeted by South Dundas’ administrative staff, at their new counter that opens into the large administrative area.
The administrative offices, like all of the offices in the building are grouped together with other offices in areas that they are calling pods. The administrative pod includes the treasurer’s office and the clerk’s office.
According to staff, the administrative space is similar in size to that in Williamsburg, but the layout has been much improved for better efficiency.
Another pod includes the planning and public works pod which includes offices for planning and building staff along with public works manager. This pod includes a common work area and three offices, each about 110 square feet in size.
Another pod features a meeting room and offices for the fire chief, economic development officer and manager of recreation programming. For the first time, these managers will all be under the same roof.
At the far end of the hall is the chief administrative officer’s office which includes some extra administrative space and an extra office.
There are enough offices for all South Dundas office staff, and some room for growth in the new building.
The second floor has two meeting rooms, and an archive room for records currently in use by staff.
The third floor is where South Dundas council will meet. Council chambers, with a small caucus room and an office for the use of the mayor and council fill the east side of the third floor and the west side is a large recreation area, that will house some of the recreation programming activities that South Dundas offers.
The old wooden front door, is being replaced with glass to preserve some of the look and character of the 1925 building.
Once paving is complete, there will be about 100 parking spaces available at the SDMC. The front lot alone has parking for 40. The paving is being done in two sections to allow the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic to remain open for regular hours throughout the construction process.
The next step will be completion of the first floor of the building, the new home of the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic. The clinic plans to be in that space early next month.
Once the first floor is complete, the renovation project then shifts to the existing St. Lawrence Medical Clinic space. Part of that will be retained for SLMC for administrative purposes, but part of the building will become the home of the new Morrisburg branch of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Library.