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Trailcross building gets OK to re-open

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (Aug 12/02) - After over two years of renovations, the Trailcross Treatment Facility in Fort Smith is ready to reopen.

According to information obtained from the Fort Smith regional office of Public Works and Services, department staff and project consultant PSAV Architects Ltd. inspected the building on July 15.

The passed inspection allows occupancy of the building. No firm date has been set for reopening by the Department of Health and Social Services but the program is now in the process of moving furniture into the renovated building.

While the building was being renovated, the Trailcross program, which offers assistance to troubled young people, was being run out of a former residence in Fort Smith.

The work on the building involved mechanical and electrical upgrades, renovations to the roof, a change from four shared bedrooms to nine individual bedrooms, and the installation of a video monitoring station.

The original contract was awarded in April 2000, with a completion target date of October of that year.

The department explains the renovations took longer than expected due to changes in the original scope of the work.

In fact, there were two tenders, the first going to Hay River-based ARCAN Construction, which completed its contract. When the building was later designated at a higher security level, the contract for that work was awarded to CAB Construction from Fort Smith. The security was upgraded after NWT chief coroner Percy Kinney expressed concern based on reports of other facilities and a safety audit was done on the facility.

In all, the renovations cost just over $1 million for construction, plus a $125,700 consultant's fee. The original budget was $900,000.