Wasaga Beach gets provincial funding for new school as costs climb

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Town of Wasaga Beach has a funding commitment and approval to award the tender to build a new elementary school, with the province committing $22.5 million to help get shovels in the ground quickly.

Identified as a capital priority by the Simcoe District School Board in 2017/2018, the school will be located at 42 Union Boulevard and will provide 406 elementary spaces.

“Wasaga Beach continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in Ontario. The town is proud to partner with the Ontario government and Simcoe County District School Board to build this state-of-the art school and multi-use facility that will serve as a much-needed school and community resource,” said Brian Smith, Mayor of Wasaga Beach.

“Today’s investment is good news for our town, our families and students, and the future of Wasaga Beach.”

The Sunnidale Subdivision plan projects 2,750 units once the entire build out of the Sunnidale Trails Subdivision is complete. Roughly, a quarter of those units are draft plan approved for Pacific Homes and total Sunnidale Trails Subdivision buildout plans another 1,639 singles and semis, 376 towns and 131 more apartment units.

In 2020 the town entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) to partner in the building of the future elementary school in the Sunnidale subdivision to provide a purpose built recreation space for community use.

Council approved proceeding to tender last July and project consultants have now developed plans and specifications to the point they are ready for tender.  The current floorplan of the elementary school includes a joint use facility area just over 1,300 square metres, about 30 per cent of the entire school building.  The joint use components include lobby, multiple washrooms, a multi-purpose room and kitchenette adjacent to a double gym.

The agreement proposes that one general contractor will build the school and parking lots under contract to the school board and that not until construction is completed, will the actual final cost of the Town’s share be defined and subsequently paid to the SCDSB.

“The original architect’s estimate in 2021 for the capital contribution was $1,515,425.  As better information became available, the 2022 quantity surveyor estimate was $1,777,409.  The most recent cost estimate which has escalated from 2022, the town’s capital contribution is $2,524,522,” Chris Roos, director – recreation, events and facilities wrote in a report to council in May.  “Although consultants offered an order of magnitude estimate of $1,515,425 more than a year ago the construction industry has seen significant cost increases in the recent past as current estimates were generated through a cost consultant report based on actual plans dated July 2022.

“Cost spikes can be attributed to the Town’s location outside of the GTA where we pay a premium for many trades who often commuting or require lodging. Contractors are increasing their bids to hedge some drastic inflation which has hurt them on other fixed price contracts in recent years and trades are therefore instinctively building security into their bid prices.”


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