PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – Marine Atlantic has announced its intention to spend millions in Port aux Basques to construct a new administration facility. Currently the Crown corporation’s administrative group is located in three separate buildings, and spokesman Darrell Mercer says that is simply no longer efficient for the roughly 100 administrative staff working in Port aux Basques.
“We’ve got 10 Marine Drive, we’ve got the Lomond building, and we’ve also got employees from administration at the terminal building,” said Mercer via phone interview.
Mercer said the corporation considered renovating the Marine Drive location to help deal with its space issues, but the aging infrastructure was a concern.
“After looking at all the information that we collected, we decided that a new build would be the best path forward.”
Earlier in the summer Marine Atlantic reached out to local landowners to determine suitable site availability in the area. The response was an overwhelming 20 submissions.
For now, Marine Atlantic hasn’t proceeded far beyond finalizing the decision to construct a new building. As of Tuesday, Oct. 31, Marine Atlantic was still bringing together a team to oversee the entire project.
Said Mercer, “That’s going to be comprised of local employees who work in Port aux Basques. They’re going to help guide this process and through that we’re going to have consultation with employees… going to include them in the process.”
Currently Marine Atlantic is wading through submissions to find the perfect site. Part of that evaluation process will consider criteria beyond location, such as services, space, and environmental considerations.
“We’re in the very early stages of this process,” said Mercer, who says locals will soon see some boots on the ground as the site prospects get narrowed down.
Although the time frame, overall cost, location, design and details of the project are still unknown, constructing a new building translates to a multi-million-dollar investment in the town by Marine Atlantic.
“We’re pretty excited about the opportunity this is going to bring,” said Mercer.