Canmore moves ahead with reduced Rec Centre project

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A lot of people are disappointed with the Canmore Rec Centre lifecycle and maintenance project scope at this stage in the development process – before the $9.5 million venture officially goes to tender.

But regardless of the disappointment shared by user groups, council and administration at the reduction of what was included in the project’s scope, elected officials voted Tuesday night (Feb. 27) to move ahead – without a central stairwell, but with an additional $105,000 for ventilation of the concession area.

“What we are hearing from user groups is general disappointment that the $10 million budget wasn’t going to buy them what they thought it was going to buy them,” Councillor Joanna McCallum said. “I think that disappointment is shared not just by users, but by council and administration.”

McCallum, along with Counc. Esmé Comfort and Jeff Hilstad, voted against the inclusion of a central staircase in the entranceway of the facility at an additional cost of $430,000. The motion was defeated in a tie vote with Coun. Vi Sandford, Rob Seeley and Karen Marra in favour. Mayor John Borrowman was not present for the meeting.

“I do think there are other options on the table that would get more use or would be better for the building,” Hilstad said. “The staircase is nice, but you can get upstairs other ways.”

Council held a special meeting this week to decide what would be included in the tender call to contractors for the project, and facilities project manager Kristine Bain said 90 per cent of what was proposed for construction is needed to address significant issues with an aging arena and building.

“There are critical components of the Canmore Rec Centre that are at the end of their lifecycle,” said Bain, adding that fixing parts of the building also triggers the need to bring other aspects up to the current building code. “The time to proceed is now, before more service disruptions occur.”

The meeting was necessary after pre-tender pricing resulted in the final project design estimated at $4 million over budget.

Bain told council that a prioritized list of scope items not included in the overall tender has been prepared and would be put out for separate pricing. She said if the tender comes in under budget, administration would be able to include additional items into the project based on that list.

While the central staircase was not included, what is included in the project is accessible seating on the second level for Alex Kaleta Arena, a flexible change room for female members of co-ed teams, change rooms that can be used by both male and female teams, windows for viewing into each arena from the second floor, and larger multi-purpose room space.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook