PEI

Province House to get exoskeleton as renos ramp up

Renovations to repair major structural problems in P.E.I.'s Province House are underway.

$47M currently budgeted for repairs of historic P.E.I. Legislature building

A perimeter fence is going up around Province House. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

Renovations to repair major structural problems in P.E.I.'s Province House are underway.

Phase one of the work started about two weeks ago and is expected to go until the end of December. The second and final phase is not expected to be completed until 2020.

Greg Shaw, a project manager with Parks Canada, said the first step is to assure the site is safe.

Phase one of the restoration should be complete by the end of the year, says project manager Greg Shaw. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

"What we're going to be doing is putting up perimeter fence around the area," said Shaw.

"We're going to be doing some interior removals throughout the building and we're going to be doing some structural work on the outside, including putting an exoskeleton around the building."

The exoskeleton will hold the building together as the exterior wall is removed and rebuilt.

Budget increasing

Earlier this week, the federal government announced an additional $6 million to restore Province House, bringing the total budget to $47 million.

The building, which first opened in 1847, has been closed since January 2015. Consultants have been working since that time to gauge the extent of the trouble.

The biggest issue is extensive damage between the two walls that make up the exterior. A report on the state of the building found that it was structurally unstable.

A construction company from Ontario is doing phase one of the restoration, but Shaw said the majority of the crew is made of Island workers.

With files from Stephanie Kelly

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