Despite a last-ditch call for the vacant buildings to be used for housing, the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) board voted to take the next steps in creating something new for the Oak Bay Lodge property.
On Wednesday, the board approved awarding a tender for hazardous materials abatement and building demolition worth $3.54 million, plus GST and a six-per-cent contingency amount, to QM Environmental.
The board also approved the overall project budget of $4.266 million and a bylaw allowing for the expenditure and borrowing for the project.
QM Environmental was one of 30 companies that indicated interest in the tender and one of nine that submitted bids. Staff analyzed the four lowest-priced bids and QM scored the highest, based on criteria that included price, recycling disposal strategy and schedule.
Board member Ben Isitt, who cast one of three dissenting votes on the item, said he couldn’t vote to approve a demolition tender without the CRHD having a plan in place for the future use of the property.
Jeremy Loveday, who also voted against, argued it was not too late to use the building in a interim use, such as for temporary housing. If the board voted to move forward on demolition, he said, the company should be asked to deconstruct as much of the building as possible.
The latter comment was spurred by board member Barb Desjardins’ reference to a motion from the CRD’s solid waste advisory committee making the same request around deconstructing.
She added that staff should ask the winning bidder to provide feedback on how successful their efforts were to salvage reusable materials, so that the information could be used in the CRD’s draft solid waste management plan.
The expectation is that the Oak Bay Lodge demolition and clearing of the site will be completed within eight months.