Saugeen Shores approves construction of Aquatic and Wellness Centre

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Town of Saugeen Shores council has approved construction of a new Aquatic and Wellness Centre, and “reimagining” of the town’s municipal office and council chambers.  The decision means the Town will build the nearly $50 million project without having to raise taxes.

The approved location of the new centre is east of the existing Municipal Hall and Plex Arena. The main elements include:

  • aquatic centre with eight-lane, 25-metre pool and leisure/therapeutic pool
  • walking track
  • wellness centre – conditioning centre with weights and fitness equipment, gymnasium & storage, fitness studio, multi-purpose rooms
  • change rooms/washrooms; offices/customer service areas; mechanical/filtration/storage

The project cost is about $50 million, and will be funded through operating revenue, development charges and the Town’s Legacy Fund.

“I am very pleased with council’s decision to build the Centre,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “This facility – along with the Lamont Sports Park – is why we established the Legacy Fund in the first place. It also shows how Development Charges are helping to build a better community as we grow. Our careful planning means we can now build two world-class recreational facilities that will generate enormous economic benefits, while serving our residents for decades.”

Council also approved a redesign of the municipal offices to create a new office space.

“Our municipal offices were built in 1999, when our population was 20 per cent smaller and static,” says Charbonneau. “Since then, we have grown significantly, and we expect to keep growing. That means not only creating resources to serve the public better, but also changing the way we work.”

Over $6 million is available for the project and the town’s development charges (DCs) by-law allows 50 per cent of the project’s funding to come from DCs.

The Town has already issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a construction management firm and directed staff to report back on how to incorporate more green elements into the project while staying within the approved financing plan.

Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2023, with a planned completion date of early 2025. For the complete staff report, presentation, and budget, click on the Council agenda here.


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