With the opening of the Halifax Convention Centre now just one year away, the province has signed a 25-year agreement with Argyle Developments for the design, construction and lease of the facility.
When the province issued the original request for proposal eight years ago, the known technical infrastructure requirements at the time were included. However, when the facility opens its doors next year, it has to be state-of-the-art for 2017. The new convention centre must meet the needs of current-day convention goers.
The final agreement includes significant updates in technology and green features. The upgrades include LED lighting in all client rental spaces, a full card-access system, and advanced IT and audiovisual systems designed for current and future requirements. The installation of LED lighting is expected to result in a $400,000 annual saving compared to non-LED light fixtures.
The total value of the upgrades is $10 million which is cost- shared with Argyle Developments paying for 50 per cent and the province and Halifax cost-sharing the other 50 per cent.
Signing the final agreement triggers the sale process for the current World Trade and Convention Centre (WTCC). The municipality has 90 days in which to decide whether to purchase the WTCC at appraised value.
The total construction cost to government of the Halifax Convention Centre is $164.2 million. This cost is being shared by three levels of government. The federal portion is $51.4 million. The province and the municipality will cost share the remaining portion, including the additional $5 million in upgrades, amortized over the life of the 25-year lease.
The convention centre is set to open in early 2017.
For more information about the convention centre project go to www.halifaxconventioncentre.com.