Calgary's old city hall in line for major $34M renovation

City council and their staff will have to move out of the building for several years while a major renovation is done to restore the heritage building.

Scaffolding protects Calgarians from getting clobbered by falling sandstone

Scaffolding is in place to catch falling sandstone at old city hall. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Calgary's crumbling historic city hall is a step closer to a major renovation.

A city council committee voted in favour Thursday morning of a multi-year $34.1-million rehabilitation for the building. The work is so extensive that it would force city council and staff to leave the premises for up to four years.

The building is literally falling apart. Protective scaffolding was put around the structure in 2014 to prevent falling pieces of sandstone from hitting pedestrians.

Porous sandstone about the size a softball fell from old city hall in September 2014. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

The roof and windows will be replaced because they leak.

The land and asset strategy committee heard that fully half of the building's sandstone exterior will have to be replaced.

Officials said the Paskapoo sandstone does not have to come from the same quarry as the original stone to achieve a perfect match.

The renovation plan will be discussed at a city council meeting in November. If approved, construction could start next spring with a completion date of June 2020.

The building, which opened in 1911, is a designated heritage building. The federal and provincial governments and the City of Calgary have given it that status.