City begins construction on $24.5-million energy efficient fleet maintenance garage

The long-awaited fleet maintenance garage should be done by the summer of 2020. City of Kingston

Work on the city’s brand new fleet maintenance garage is set to begin on Friday, which means Division Street will be closed over the upcoming weekend.

The city of Kingston says starting Friday at 5:30 p.m. and ending Sunday at 11:30 p.m., Division Street will be closed from Barbara Avenue to Railway Street to accommodate work on the new $24.5-million garage.

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The building will be LEED Silver certified, which means it must reach a specified level of environmentally friendly and energy efficient standards.

The building will replace the city’s 70-year-old current fleet maintenance garage, which stands behind the current public works building on Division Street.

The cost for the new garage was originally set for $26 million, but after Doug Ford’s cut to Ontario’s cap and trade system, the project was one of seven in Kingston whose provincial funding was revoked through the municipal greenhouse gas fund. The city lost $1.75 million on the fleet maintenance garage, but it says none of that money will be replaced by city funds. In fact, Cindie Ashton, communications officer with the city of Kingston, says the city was able to cut certain energy-efficient aspects of the project and still keep the LEED certification intact.

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The lost funding was meant to pay for the building’s geothermal system, solar panel systems for the police station and both public works buildings, premium energy efficiency measures and retrofits and recommissioning for the existing Public Works building and Kingston Police Headquarters, as well as the soon to be constructed 4,000-square-metre fleet maintenance garage.

Despite the funding loss, the city says it will be keeping the rooftop solar panels for the new maintenance garage and the Kingston police headquarters, but the geothermal system, the rooftop solar panels on the standing Public Works building and retrofits and recommissioning of the existing buildings will not go forward. Ashton also said the city is currently working on finding more cost savings for the new fleet garage, but could not specify how.

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All in all, the new multi-million dollar fleet garage will be equipped with:

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  • 10 regular and two drive-through truck bays
  • five car bays
  • a wash bay
  • a parts room
  • a welding area
  • staff facilities
  • administrative offices
  • a bridge crane
  • in-floor radiant heating
  • a fluid management system
  • portable hoists

The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.