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Gananoque Town Hall addition combines old and new

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Attaching a modern building to a historic one can be tricky, but it’s a task the Town of Gananoque recently had to complete as part of its town hall expansion.

At just over 2,000 square feet, the modern addition is everything the old building is not — now, Gananoque’s seat of municipal government has more than doubled in size.

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According to the town’s chief administrative officer, Shellee Fournier, the $3-million expansion is everything that city employees could have hoped for.

“(The) original town hall is an absolutely beautiful building but certainly, for government in today’s day and age, you really need a lot more facilities to be able to work in, to be able to work more effectively and efficiently,” Fournier said.

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The largest room in the addition is much-needed council chambers. Fournier says up until now — and for the last handful of years — council meetings have been held at the police and fire station.

Accessibility is the name of the game in the new part of the town hall. There are ramps on both sides of the building, plus an elevator that goes to all three floors. Fournier says accessible washrooms were another huge consideration.

“In the historic building, we had some washrooms that staff used that were on the third floor in the attic, and then the other washrooms were actually public washrooms that were located in the basement. We didn’t have washrooms on the main floor,” Fournier said.

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Another nice touch for the facility is that Gananoque will officially name the new council chambers after the late Gord Brown. This is expected to happen sometime over the next few months.