Construction of the new transit hub and innovation centre on Railway St. is currently projected to start in June and be completed for the summer of 2022.
A detailed update was provided to town council last night for both the building and CP tracks pedestrian crossing into the Historic Downtown. It was not printed as a finished product but was an opportunity for feedback before the final design begins on the project.
The name "Cochrane Station" did resonate with the majority of town councillors for the transit/town services side of the project. That wasn't the case for "Cochrane Link," which was proposed for the innovation centre. Council has asked the project team to revisit the branding of that portion of the building.
The 7,770 sq. ft. multi-purpose building would be located on the east side of the town's 1.71-acre parcel on Railway St. It will provide a transit waiting amenity and will be home to the visitor information centre, business development and its community partners, town administrative services, and a co-working space/business start-up program.
Parking has already been developed on the southside of Railway St. adjacent to the Cochrane Public Library.
The project will give the town an increased presence downtown and is the first major thrust of the tri-site plan for downtown public land.
The long-anticipated pedestrian CP track crossing into the historic downtown will include an enhanced walkway on the north side of the tracks to the existing Centennial Plaza on 1st St. W.
The transit hub/innovation centre is estimated to cost $4.85 million and is being funded jointly by a provincial GreenTRIP grant and Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) funds.
Funding for a series of monuments proposed to not only enhance the design but also provide information and evening lighting may not fit within the current allotted funding. The committee said it may have to come back to council to request additional CRL funding to cover the cost.
There remains room on the property for an additional building, further community space, and expansion of the plaza. A three-story innovation centre was originally proposed to be part of the development but has since been pulled off the table. There's also space allotted should a heavy rail passenger service become available in the future
The $2 million pedestrian crossing will be funded with CRL funds.
The estimated annual operating cost of the building is $55,000.