Photo Credits: Dan O’Reilly
Above Photo: Emmett Downey, Sarah Adams, and Avery Downey took advantage of a PA Day to attend the official ground breaking for the office expansion of CVC’s Forestry Operations Centre—and to help break the sod. Emmett and Avery are the daughters of Caledon Councillor Johanna Downey.
Construction of an urgently needed and long-planned-for 8,200-square-foot administrative office at Credit Valley Conservation’s Forestry Operations Centre at the Warwick Conservation Area in Caledon is expected to start early in the new year.
Although approximately 50,000 tree seedlings are grown annually at the Heart Lake Road facility, the authority says a centralized consolidated office is needed to improve operational efficiencies and forestry outputs. The existing office is comprised of a workshop and a couple of portables.
At a November 17th official sod-turning ceremony where details of the $1.6-million project were announced, authority Chief Administrative Officer Deborah Martin-Downs described the existing facility as ‘deplorable’.
Designed by ACI Architects Inc. and to be built by project manager/general contractor Landmark Builders, the new office will connect with the workshop.
It will house 25 staff work stations and approximately 10 hoteling stations for seasonal and contract staff to use on a rotating basis year-round.
Other features will include extra-energy efficient fixtures and lighting, a climate-controlled storage room, and a multipurpose meeting/lunchroom with a capacity to accommodate 50 people attending CVC meetings and workshops.
Community groups will also be able to rent the multipurpose room, says authority Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Mike Puddister, who has been coordinating the project planning.
“There has been a growing need to improve the centre for many years,” Puddister told the event participants who included Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson, Caledon Regional Councillor and CVC board member Johanna Downey, other board members, plus the architect and builder.
Over the past few years the CVC has set aside funds for the project. But it was one-time contribution of $375,000 in 2017 by Peel Region “which was the final push to help us move forward with this expansion.”
In an interview ACI Architects principal William Joannou said the need for the office was almost immediately evident after the original office was built five years ago. His firm was also the architect on that project.
Although using the term ‘utilitarian’ to describe the new office, Joannou says it will be enhanced through the use of solar panels and landscaping. A major exterior feature will be a decorative stone wall fashioned from fieldstone from the original farmhouse. On it will be a plaque commemorating the Warwick family who use to own the property.
Unless there is a severe winter construction will start in early January, says Landmark Builders president Rick Plantt.