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Alberta government to demolish Legislature Annex building after finding repairs would cost $29M

The Legislature Annex building will be demolished, according to the government.
The Legislature Annex building will be demolished, according to the government. Les Knight / Global News

The Alberta government will demolish the Legislature Annex building over the next several years, after finding the costs to repair it would ring in at $29 million — which is more than half the building’s value.

“We decided to decommission the building and move the people here to other government properties,” Alberta’s Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda said Wednesday.

Panda said that about 300 public servants currently work at the building, and while many of them are currently working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they will begin moving them to alternative buildings this fall.

The actual demolition will start early 2021, he said.

“[The] Legislature Annex building really served us well during its prime time,” Panda said.

“Now it’s past its time. It was originally built in 1951.”

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When it was initially built, the building was six floors high. In 1964, upgrades were done and additional floors were added, bringing it to the 12-storeys it is today.

Panda said the cost of repairs were so high because of the numerous issues in the nearly 70-year-old building, including its windows, elevators, and roofing issues. Many parts of the building also have layers of peeling lead paint.

A shot of peeling paint at the Legislature Annex building taken on Sept. 23, 2020.
A shot of peeling paint at the Legislature Annex building taken on Sept. 23, 2020. Les Knight / Global News
A shot from within the Legislature Annex building on Sept. 23, 2020.
A shot from within the Legislature Annex building on Sept. 23, 2020. Global News

Panda added the government is also looking at what to do with the space.

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“Albertans treat these Legislature grounds as very historic and prestigious grounds,” he said. “They come here to these grounds to have the best experience… we want to enhance the experience.

“So we are discussing the plan for the entire Legislature grounds, to do a refresh.”

Read more: Firefighters’ group voices concern over Alberta’s go-ahead to construct 12-storey wood buildings

Panda said the cost of the demolish has already been approved by government and will ring it at $7.2 million.

The government will also conduct a hazard assessment for asbestos and other risks before the demolition begins next year.

Panda added the government is also looking at doing some pool repairs at the legislature, but that the exact timing on that or how much it would cost has yet to be determined.

The Alberta government will demolish the Legislature Annex building over the next several years, after finding the costs to repair it would ring in at $29 million -- which is more than half the building's value.
The Alberta government will demolish the Legislature Annex building over the next several years, after finding the costs to repair it would ring in at $29 million -- which is more than half the building's value. Les Knight/ Global News
The Alberta government will demolish the Legislature Annex building over the next several years, after finding the costs to repair it would ring in at $29 million -- which is more than half the building's value.
The Alberta government will demolish the Legislature Annex building over the next several years, after finding the costs to repair it would ring in at $29 million -- which is more than half the building's value. Les Knight/ Global News