Ontario Construction News staff writer
Construction of the $30 million expansion and retrofit of the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre will begin in January and at least two years to complete. Construction tenders for the work will go out by the beginning of November, a city spokesperson says.
Last week, city council approved the release of more than $24.5 million in funding, adding to $5.6 million that has already been released. Construction is expected to conclude in the summer or fall of 2022. The structure has been designed by Parkin Architects Ltd.
“Thank you to everyone who has been working on this massive project, I’m very excited about where it’s come to,” Coun. Tenille Bonoguore, whose uptown ward is home to the facility, was quoted as saying.
The project has been in the works since May 2015, when council approved the city’s older adult recreation strategy. That plan outlined ways to improve recreation services for seniors within five years, and recommended the city explore replacing older adult recreation sites around Waterloo.
By late 2017 council approved the detailed design phase, including site plan approvals and construction drawings.
The project has two major components:
- A two-storey, 28,000-sq. ft. community pavilion on the west side of the property between the current rec centre and the Luther Village retirement home. It will be connected to the existing recreation facility by an elevated pedestrian bridge. The pavilion will be the new home of the city’s older adult recreation program (currently offered at the Adult Recreation Centre on King Street and the Wing 404 Rotary Centre on Dutton Drive) and other community space.
- A 16,000-sq. ft. civic area that will be added to the east side of the building, adjacent to the current entrance. It will include a large multi-purpose gym, change rooms, inclusive washrooms, offices, storage rooms, a café and an outdoor patio area.
Officials say work on the civic area is expected to wrap up by February 2021, and the community pavilion will be ready for occupancy by June.
As well, significant upgrades are also planned for other areas of the 25-year-old structure, including the partial rehabilitation of the existing aquatic centre, partial main lobby refresh, replacement of the roof over the ice rink, mechanical and electrical upgrades, and security improvements.