The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is celebrating the completion of its long-awaited move down King Street to newer offices inside of Citi Plaza.
For the last several months, the health unit’s some 300 staff members have been moving in stages to the newly-refurbished space that spans 6,300 square metres on two levels of the downtown complex.
While health unit staff were moved in March 23 — a move that was expedited due to COVID-19 — and the offices opened March 30, the health unit says the endeavour will come to a final close on Thursday when members of the Board of Health will meet and vote to disband a relocation advisory committee formed as part of the project.
The MLHU’s satellite office in Strathroy, Ont., home to its vector-borne disease program, has not been impacted by the move.
In an interview Tuesday with 980 CFPL’s Jess Brady, Dr. Chris Mackie, the health unit’s CEO and medical officer of health for London and Middlesex, said he was impressed by the work of MLHU staff.
“We had the first phase of administrative folks moving in Jan.1 — well, Jan. 2, technically. And then the second phase was later in January. And we’ve now got all the clinical staff over, which was the third phase,” Mackie said.
“Even though this crazy work around coronavirus has been overtaking all of our lives, we’ve also been able to get people in the door on time and under budget.”
Early estimates peg the entire process, including construction on the new offices that began last summer by michael + clark Construction along with costs related to the subsequent move, as coming 15 to 20 per cent under budget, Mackie said.
“There still are some proprietary information around bid costs for some of the contractors, but we’ll make as much of that public as we can as soon as we can,” he said.
The move to new office space, five years in the making, means all of the health unit employees will now be working under one roof — something Mackie says has been the plan all along.
50 King St. and 399 Ridout St., the former couthouse next door that has been used as the county’s administration building, was purchased last year for $30 million by York Developments who plans to develop the site, known historically as the “Courthouse Block.”
— With files from Andrew Graham and Jacequelyn LeBel.
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