Friday, May 23, 2008

More on CSE's new building

You read it here (and here) first. CSE intends to construct a new building on a plot of land beside CSIS headquarters, and Defence Minister Peter MacKay (or whoever wrote the boilerplate sentiments attached to his name) has now officially announced it.

According to the 22 May 2008 release, the "new 6000 m2 building will be located on approximately 36 hectares of land and could hold up to 250 people." My guess had been that the building would accommodate 200-300 people, so evidently I'm not always out to lunch on these things!

The release also says that the estimated cost of the building is $62 million. That's consistent with the first four years of spending noted in this table from the 2008-09 Report on Plans and Priorities, but less than the total of $70 million estimated in that table. The difference may lie in additional fitting-up costs that are not considered part of the building's construction cost.

What the release confirms is that all of the accommodations project money is going toward this single building. That surprises me (clearly I often am out to lunch on these things). At that price—about 2.5 times the cost per square metre, after inflation, of the Tilley building's high-security annex—it better be one heckuva nice building.

No word yet on the name of the new accommodations. I would suggest the N. Kevin O'Neill Building. But times being what they are it'll probably get some euphonious public–private partnership appellation like the M. Brian Mulroney–Air Canada–Airbus Centre.

News coverage of the story here. You can also download the press release (as a Word document!) directly from the CSE website.

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