Gravenhurst council chambers renovations complete

Gravenhurst council members and staff welcomed residents to the newly-renovated council chambers Thursday afternoon.

The town hosted an open house so that people could check out the chambers.

“It’s terrific to finally be back in this space,” Mayor Heidi Lorenz said. “We tackled this project to provide a better council chambers experience for people.”

By modernizing the room and related technology, the chambers are now more accessible and user-friendly.

“We have made the space more functional, which will benefit our community significantly,” said Kayla Thibeault, director of legislative services for the Town of Gravenhurst.

Renovation work started in September 2023 and recently concluded. During the project period, the town held council and committee meetings at other municipal sites, including the Centennial Centre and the Gravenhurst Opera House.

A significant improvement is a new audio/visual system. This means better sound and picture quality for people livestreaming meetings or watching the recording. In addition, online viewers will now see presentation materials easier.

Technological improvements also include better sound quality in the council chambers. The town has also added four large view screens to the room so that people can see the meeting and related presentations regardless of where they are sitting. The gallery also has 30 more seats.

As well, technical upgrades now allow for seamless virtual participation in meetings.

The town has also purchased a new council table, which replaces another table that was at the end of its lifespan. The new table allows for better sightlines for council members and the public. The table is the creation of local company Rock Paper Scissors.

The project was part of the town’s capital program with the majority funded through a federal modernization grant.  

The last few weeks the town has hosted “practice” meetings in the room to familiarize staff with the technology and to ensure that everything works properly. The town has also hosted committee meetings in the room to introduce committee members to the technology.

The first official committee of the whole and council meeting in the room will take place at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

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For more information, contact:

Mike Gennings

Communications Specialist

mike.gennings@gravenhurst.ca

705-687-3412, ext. 2239