Ontario Construction News staff writer
Inflation has increased the expected cost to build a community centre in Guelph by about $1 million per month over the past year—a year-over-year inflation rate of 10 per cent.
Council is now considering an increased cost of $80 million. If approved, construction on the South End Community Centre (SECC) could begin this fall and be completed in late 2026.
A staff report to be considered at the Mar. 7 committee of the whole meeting includes updates on the design, construction timelines, and budget without altering the facilities amenities and environmental sustainability targets. Staff recommends an additional budget of $35.5 million for the project, bringing the total cost of the SECC construction to $115.5 million. The additional budget will primarily be funded from development charges, consistent with the current approved funding already in place leaving approximately $1.8 million to be funded by taxation.
“We know that access to recreational facilities and programs is a vital part of a healthy community and that facilities to support this are much needed in the south end of Guelph,” said Jayne Holmes, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer of infrastructure, development and enterprise services. “Given the pressures of inflation, we changed the project delivery model to construction management to help identify cost savings while maintaining the amenities our community needs and delivering on our Race to Zero commitments.”
In April 2022, council delegated authority to staff to prioritize capital projects within the approved budget up to the end of 2023 and $39 million in spending was deferred to future years, however, expected costs for the SECC project had not been finalized and would be addressed through a separate recommendation.