Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre project experiencing overages
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
On Tuesday night, Huron East Council received an update on the ongoing renovation and expansion of the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre, which has seen a number of unforeseen issues resulting in cost overages that will deplete the $280,000 contingency for the project.
Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts prepared a report for council which he was due to present at Tuesday night’s meeting. Coverage of the meeting will be included in the April 14 issue of The Citizen, as it will be held after this week’s deadline. However, McRoberts’ report outlines a number of the issues.
“The project has been posed with unforeseen challenges, due to either unknown and undocumented existing conditions or undocumented construction methods used in the existing structure,” McRoberts wrote in his report.
He outlined five outstanding issues for council.
First is the exterior storm drainage lines, which have cost the project an additional $104,527.
“Early on in the project, it was discovered that the roof drains were discharged to underground drain lines that ran along the east and south sides of the building, ultimately discharging to the existing municipal drain on the southwest corner of the property. As these drain lines ran under the entire area of the proposed expansion, they need to be redirected and rerouted in new storm water drains,” McRoberts noted in his report.
The second issue arose following the removal of the exterior finishes at the east elevation for the proposed opening at the warm viewing area. McRoberts said that those working on the building discovered that the existing exterior wall is comprised of four-inch hollow core, unreinforced concrete block, rather than six-inch reinforced concrete block, which had been specified in the original design drawings, which are dated June, 1977.
In addition, he said that the blocks were fastened to the existing metal siding for lateral support and the existing columns throughout the east elevation are light gauge, cold-formed steel, rather than structural steel columns.
Those columns, McRoberts said in his report, are not structurally sufficient for the proposed opening for the warm viewing area.
As a result, he said, the opening for the warm viewing area had to be reconfigured and redesigned to incorporate web stiffener plates at the structural steel beams in order to support the existing exterior wall assembly.
The cost for these changes, he said, is still pending.
A similar discovery, McRoberts said, was made in the existing exterior wall assembly at the south elevation. “This was a significant structural concern and lateral bracing was required to stabilize the upper portion of the south elevation wall before work at the south addition could proceed,” McRoberts said in his report.
As a result, light gauge steel stud framing will support the existing four-inch hollow core, unreinforced concrete block at the interior face of the existing exterior wall assembly, secured to the existing roof purlins, structural steel girts and columns and horizontal light gauge steel z-girts.
McRoberts said this will cost the municipality an additional $57,109.
The exterior fill under the proposed expansion was deemed unsuitable to support the expansion structure, McRoberts said in his report, so it needed to be removed, disposed of and replaced with structural fill to the tune of $57,124.
That, in addition to some miscellaneous modifications that will cost an additional $21,685, will see the municipality spend over $200,000 more than anticipated on the project, according to McRoberts’ report.
He also noted delays in the project due to both weather and the above conditions. As a result, McRoberts says the contractor is now hoping for completion in the late summer. However, he said that work on the kitchen and the existing lobby area will be undertaken as outlined in the original schedule, because it fits in with reduced need for access to the dressing rooms and ice surfaces during the coming months.
“Based upon approved and pending change orders, to date the $280,000 contingency for the project has been or will be fully depleted,” McRoberts said in his report. “While the project is moving from a stage of integration with existing conditions to one of continuing the build-out as designed, change orders resulting from unforeseen or unexpected issues are likely to diminish in number and cost, we still have fixtures, furnishings and equipment to account for that are not included in the original tender. Items that would be included in this consist of seating for the warm viewing area, furniture, tables and seats for the lobby, equipment for the concession, etc. While generally minor, these will need to be acquired on or before the project is operational.”
McRoberts, in his report, noted that, due to the success of the fundraising committee, raising more than $2.5 million against a $2 million goal, those funds “will need to be used to offset any additional change orders and FFE (fixtures, furnishings and equipment) purchases.”
He noted that $23,000 could have been saved by eliminating an interior masonry wall on the south side of the building. However, after consulting with the building subcommittee, the option was rejected. McRoberts said in his report that there were concerns with the lack of a guarantee that the existing south exterior wall could be suitably repaired and refinished without long-term deterioration of the surface.
McRoberts was due to present his report for information purposes only at Tuesday night’s meeting. The agenda package for the meeting was made public on Friday on the municipality’s website.
Check back with The Citizen next week for coverage of the meeting and any subsequent conversation based on McRoberts’ report.