Town rejects request for another $1.3 million for admin centre

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The cost of building a new administration centre in Alliston has now exceeded its project contingency budget and an additional $1.3 million is needed to complete the job.

A motion approved by New Tecumseth’s committee of the whole, however, rejects the budget increase and a final decision on how to deal with the shortfall will be made at a council meeting June 19. Councillors suggested dipping into the remaining cash set aside for furniture and equipment to fund the overrun.

According to a staff report the contractor – Matheson Constructors Limited has “encountered a number of unforeseen issues since the construction activities began in September 2021, resulting in cost overruns that were not part of the base contract.”

“I’m a little troubled that what I read in this report doesn’t really reflect what I visually saw when I was in the administration centre when members of council requested to see the building,” said Councillor Alan Masters. “I was actually quite taken aback that the state of completion wasn’t anywhere near where I thought it would be.

“I want to see this project get completed.”

Masters suggested “regrouping” on the project and meeting directly with Matheson to determine “what’s to be done, who’s to do it, when will it be done and how much.”

“For me, I’d like to sit down and find out where exactly we are with this build.”

New Tecumseth councillors were also told at a recent meeting that the building will not be substantially completed this month – as promised in March. Construction is now expected to wrap up at the end of the summer.

The project was originally expected to take a year to complete, but has been plagued by delays and cost increases.

Key findings in the latest project status report include:

  • To date the project has a total of 76 change orders approved. The total value of the change orders approved to date is $1,339,649 which is greater than the total approved contingency amount.
  • The contingency assigned to this project was modest at 6% of the construction cost.
  • The current capital administration policy approved stipulates a project of this magnitude have at least 20% assigned contingency.
  • The Canadian Cost Guide estimates that the cost of a municipal office building has increased 75 per cent since 2021.

“Since the previous reporting period of March 27, 2023, planned structural works have reached completion, as has the replacement of the unplanned existing loose brick veneer at the roof line. The roof flashing installation has commenced. The repair of existing deteriorated concrete block on the north elevation is underway,” Bruce Hoppe, general manager, infrastructure and development, wrote in a report. “The contractor has recently discovered an existing structural deficiency in two window piers in the south-west elevation. Remedial work required to correct this issue is currently being determined.

“The building envelope is approximately 85 per cent complete, with the contractor having completed the new roof on the south bump out and elevator shaft, new roof on the west addition, curtainwall glass, and most windows and exterior paneling since the last report.”

Councillors said they were “taken aback” at the lack of progress happening at the site during a recent tour of the building.



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