Ontario Construction News staff writer
North Bay city council has voted to request tenders for construction of a new multipurpose community and recreation centre.
“It’s time to initiate the tender process. Only then will we have the most updated costs and be able to make the most informed decision,” said Councillor Justine Mallah. “As we have already discussed, we can turn away if the numbers come back massively higher than expected. We won’t know until we go there.”
A proposed plan is for a community and recreation centre, with twin ice pads, change rooms, community meeting spaces, and an indoor walking track and other amenities. The design team from MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd. and North Bay’s Mitchell Jensen Architects has worked on the project for more than a year.
The previous council then directed staff to complete the building design to achieve the requirements for net zero carbon certification so the project qualified for funding from the federal government’s Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.
An additional $584,000 was added to the contract to MJMA Ltd. to complete the necessary background studies, the Net Zero Carbon Building design, construction document preparation, and building certification for the project. Council also directed staff to go to tender upon completion of those design modifications.
The new council is now counting on a $25.77-million Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) grant from the federal government – available until March 31, 2026, but it is a finite funding envelope that depletes as applications are approved.
“A $52-million community and recreation centre for $26 million is in the best interests of our community,” Mallah said.
According to an earlier staff report, the estimated costs for the project include:
- Architecture and Engineering Services $2.5 million
- Construction Costs (Class A as of November 2022) $43.5 million
- Contingency (5.8% of overall project) $3 million
- Total Project Cost (as of November 2022) $51.6 million
CAO John Severino told council prior to the tendering approval vote on Feb. 14 that the cost estimate was prepared with a variance of plus or minus five per cent by consultants ” based on the best available information for local construction, their modelling with all the information they have for similar types of construction.
“I would not hazard to guess as to what the market will do. I think the best we can do is have the actual cost and come back to council,” he said, adding the city has a 6.9 per cent construction contingency fund.