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Market square architect sought

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The town has put out a request for proposals to develop a market square on Scott Street.

Chief Building Official Travis Rob said the town is looking for a reputable architecture firm to design an open-air market square at the site of the former Rainy Lake Hotel.

Rob said there’s two main methods to procure contractors, architects, and other specialists: tenders and requests for proposal.

“If you know exactly what you want—for example, for the Rainy Lake Hotel, we wanted the building torn down—we tender,” he explained.

“If you don’t know exactly what you want for the design, and we want someone to do the design, we want to know how they’re going to go about it, what methods they’re going to use, what they’re going to look at, who they’re going to talk to,” added Rob.

“So we’re going to go to a proposal.

“We’re going to go to these firms and say, ‘Look, we’re looking for an architect and this is what we want to do: develop an open-air market square,’” Rob noted.

“And they’re going to come back with a proposal saying, ‘Our architect firm will do this for you and this is how much it will cost.’”

The town then will review the proposals, look at what the firms have done in the past, call references, and pick a successful one—not necessarily on the lowest bid but “on who is going to do the best work for what you’re looking for,” Rob stressed.

The RFP stipulates the firm will consult with local stakeholders, an advisory committee, and mayor and council on the project.

Rob said the RFP specifies the architect will have to conduct a couple of town hall-style open meetings to solicit input from the general public on what their vision of the site is.

“The thing to keep in mind with this is we have had conceptual designs done,” he noted.

“We submitted grant applications to construct something in accordance with those conceptual designs.

“That’s what our architect will be basing their work off of,” Rob added. “That’s what we got the grant money for.

“We can’t go and build something wildly different from what we’ve proposed in our grant applications,” he stressed.

“We can tweak it, we can make adjustments, but at the end of the day, it still needs to be some sort of a market square.”

The deadline for RFP submission to the town is 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Meanwhile, work is wrapping up on the former hotel site.

George Armstrong Co. Ltd. was there yesterday laying down the final layer of granular material.

The fencing now will be taken down and the alleyway cleaned up, noted Rob.

Ed Kaun and Sons has been subcontracted to do siding work on the two adjacent buildings (Brockie’s Jewellers and Causeway Insurance), and will begin that job shortly (weather permitting).

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