Victoria County Administration Building

Posted on:
June 24, 2022

At recent budget sessions held in May 2022, Victoria County Council concluded the cost to repair and upgrade the Municipal Building for continued long-term use was not a fiscally viable option. Council agreed to explore more cost-effective options and look for potential buyers for the building. The decision was made following a facilities assessment that was initiated in 2021.

JS Held completed the facilities assessment on the municipal-owned building and reported to Council at public council sessions that the cost to repair and upgrade the municipal building was estimated north of $6.5 million. A new building is estimated to cost approximately $4 million. An option to rent office space is also being considered and the proposed new facility in Baddeck is a potential location. A decision to demolish the existing building and rebuild in the same location was not considered to give others an option to own and maintain the historic building.

Victoria County Council recognizes the historical and cultural significance of the building in the Village of Baddeck. Many factors were considered carefully when deliberating during budget sessions.

The facilities assessment to look at the long-term viability of the building was prompted by the Nova Scotia Accessibility Act which aims to have all municipal facilities to be inclusive and barrier free by 2030 for staff, residents and visitors. The reality is that the building cannot adequately accommodate the upgrades required to comply with provincial standards. For example, the building cannot accommodate an elevator inside the existing structure, and one would have to be constructed outside of the building structure. This is only one example of many that is required to comply with the new building codes that have been released. More changes to codes to include accessibility standards are being developed and will be released prior to 2030.  

Ultimately Victoria County Council made a decision that is financially prudent based on the facilities assessment report and recommendations and is fair to all municipal taxpayers.

The facilities assessment report is available in the resources section found on the bottom of this page. Updates on the future of the municipal office building will be posted as they become available. Should you have any questions please contact your district councillor.

Timeline:

  • July 19, 2022 – The RFP for Real Estate Brokerage Services was extended because no response was received by the first deadline. (The RFP is to secure real estate services help the municipality with the sale and purchase of a number of properties.)
  • June 23, 2022 – A motion was passed at Victoria County Council to continue exploring options for municipal offices. This is related to the decision made by Council on May 30 that the cost to renovate the building to meet current and future building codes and standards is too costly. This means the municipality will be moving administrative offices and council chambers to a new location in the next three to five years. The location for the offices and council chambers is yet to be determined. As of this time, no further decision has been made regarding the building.
  • June 14, 2022 – A request for proposals (RFP) for Real Estate Brokerage Services was issued. (The RFP is to secure real estate services help the municipality with the sale and purchase of a number of properties.)
  • May 30, 2022 – During budget sessions in May, Council decided that the cost to repair the administration building in Baddeck and comply with the Province of Nova Scotia’s new accessibility building codes was not fiscally responsible when compared to alternative options.
  • March 3, 2022 – Nicholas Charlton presented at County Council a detailed report and discussed the option to have a structural engineer come in and assess the courthouse structure for adding an external elevator using a drone scan.
  • February 14, 2022 – Nicholas Charlton presented estimated costs for restoration versus rebuilding.
  • November 25, 2021 – Initial presentation to Council and CAO.
  • September 2021 – RFP was issued and awarded to JS Held.

Resources
JS Held final report on the Victoria County Municipal Building
Victoria County Council Meeting Minutes
Access by Design 2030: Achieving an Accessible Nova Scotia        
Victoria County Accessibility Plan
Request for Proposals: Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Services

News

‘Save this building’: Cape Breton resident urges Victoria County to reconsider potential courthouse sale
The Victoria County Court House was first built in 1889, with an additional wing constructed in 1967. June 28, 2022

Cape Breton rink set to be completely rebuilt — with possible space for municipal offices
Victoria Highland Civic Centre will undergo a complete rebuild as a multi-use facility. June 22, 2022

Future of dilapidated Baddeck courthouse unknown as building faces costly repairs
The old building with a stone foundation, which is also home to municipal offices, dates back to the 1800s. During a recent Victoria county council meeting, an expert said of the building needs a lot of work. March 11, 2022

About the municipal building
Built in 1889, the two-story municipal-owned building was constructed in the Classical Revival style. It is located at 495 Chebucto Street in the Village of Baddeck and is a significant landmark in the village, being a focal point on the main street. Since its construction in 1889, the building has served multiple purposes, including its original intent as a court of law and the seat of the municipal government for Victoria County. Renovations over the years included a west wing added in 1967, an accessible ramp in 2020, updates to council chambers in 2021 and maintenance and repairs as needed.

Victoria County Municipal Building

More News

Victoria County Administration Building

June 24, 2022

At recent budget sessions held in May 2022, Victoria County Council concluded the cost to repair and upgrade the ...

Update for Residents

September 29, 2022

Due to significant damage caused during Hurricane Fiona, the Municipality recognizes the need for residents to di...

Disaster Financial Assistance for Hurricane Fiona Damage

September 26, 2022

HURRICANE FIONA/EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE–Disaster Financial Assistance for Hurricane Fiona Damage—...

Notice to Residents

All Victoria County facilities will be closed on Friday, September 30, 2022 for Truth and Reconciliation Day. Res...