Conference Centre upgrades to cost $91M

Public Works is soliciting bids for an estimated $91 million rehabilitation of the Government Conference Centre in the city’s former downtown train station on Rideau Street.

Renovations on the “deteriorated” heritage building were last undertaken in the 1970s, solicitation documents on stated. Additionally, the building requires a refresh as it is turned into an interim home for the Senate during renovations to Centre Block in the coming years.

Some of the work includes selective demolition, upgrading the building’s structure and envelope, putting in IT infrastructure and equipment, beefing up the security infrastructure, fitting up the interior and performing landscape work.

The closing date for submissions is Aug. 30, and the proponent will be selected based on the best overall proposal. Construction should begin in June 2014, with the GCC “fully operational” again by September 2018.

The work is just one of several ongoing construction projects in the Parliament Hill precinct.

In 2011, for example, PCL Constructors Canada inc. received a $359 million West Block reconstruction contract to restore the stone masonry and upgrade mechanical, electrical and safety systems to bring them up to modern building code. The constructor will also put in an “infill” structure to cover up the courtyard. Work is expected to finish by 2017.

The same year, EllisDon Corp. won a $143 million Wellington Building rehabilitation project that includes putting in 10 committee rooms and 69 parliamentary offices. That job, expected to be finished by 2015, will make way for parliamentarians when the Centre Block is renovated in a few years.

Meanwhile, several smaller construction projects have taken place near the Centre Block itself, most recently with bids opening in June on slope stabilization work.