Just as the last fall harvests come to an end and temperatures begin to cool, a new crop is getting ready to be planted around the Hainerberg housing community this winter.
Rows and rows of shipping containers will soon be sown to support the temporary storage needs of residents while their buildings undergo much needed and requested basement renovations.
“Approximately 15 years ago the group laundry facilities were moved into the kitchens or annexes of each apartment leaving empty, unassigned common areas in these basements,” said John Groh, engineer technician for the Directorate of Public Works, Housing Facility Branch. “Unassigned areas are challenging to maintain and can become a magnet for abandoned household items.”
The new configurations, which vary from building to building, eliminate common areas and maximize the entire basement creating dedicated and secure personal storage units. “The project creates more useable storage space per residential unit,” said Groh.
Each basement will take approximately six months to complete. Work includes gutting and reconfiguring the space, plastering, painting and installation of LED motion-sensor controlled lighting. Metal sheeting will replace chain link fencing or in some cases wood slat doors which allowed residential property to be seen by other tenants and maintenance personnel.
During the renovation, items currently stored in the basements will need to be relocated says Groh. Each residential unit will be assigned a 20-foot container that will be located near their building. The containers will have lighting and be secured with a padlock, but will not be climate controlled.
The Directorate of Public Works, Housing Facility Branch will be notifying residents of the construction timeline for their building which includes issuing keys for their container and ensuring their own basement items are moved before construction begins. A contractor is scheduled to assist residents with moving personal property; however, residents can move their own items approximately one week after receiving their keys.
A total of 79 buildings which house 423 apartments will receive the upgrades with four full basements being completed every three weeks.
More than 150 shipping containers will be required at the height of the construction and will be in housing areas for approximately six to 18 months. Where possible the containers will be placed on grassy sections along the sidewalk. Where there are limiting factors, such as potential damage to tree roots, containers will be placed in parking areas.
The renovation project will begin in January 2017 and continue through September 2018.