Huron East greenlights Brussels arena renovation and expansion
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron East Council is officially moving ahead with the renovation and expansion of the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre, accepting a modified tender for the project Tuesday night for a total project cost of $7.263 million plus HST.
The contractor, Elgin Contracting and Restoration Limited, remains the same, but Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts said he was able to work with the contractor to find savings within the proposal to reduce the cost to a manageable figure.
After Elgin’s original price came in approximately $1.62 million over the already-increased budget, councillors were faced with a difficult decision last month. However, McRoberts urged patience, saying he felt that further discussion with the contractor and some revised figures could provide good news at the June 7 council meeting.
“In subsequent discussions, Elgin Contracting and Restoration Ltd. indicated that there were opportunities to reduce costs based upon additional subcontractor pricing, costs included that were not specified as a requirement, proposed alternative approaches, substitutions and minor deletions,” McRoberts said in his June 7 report to council. “Based upon the post-tender modifications, the tender would be revised to $7,236,000 plus HST, a net reduction of $1,187,000. The fundraising campaign has, as of May 31, 2022, achieved $1,630,000 in donations and pledges, which is $230,000 over their original budgeted goal of $1.4 million. The outstanding budget shortfall, considering the reduced tender price and the additional fundraising dollars is $225,000, accounting for non-refundable HST.”
McRoberts said the shortfall would not affect any of the other partners on the project, such as Morris-Turnberry, as their portion of the cost of the project would remain the same. The intent is that the fundraising committee will cover the remaining amount, McRoberts said, adding that he didn’t anticipate any financial implications for the municipality, provided that the fundraising committee can achieve a final goal of $1.9 million.
The cost-saving measures and changes, as laid out by McRoberts in his report, are:
• No masonry price received at time of tender; pricing has now been received.
• Allow use of existing natural gas for temporary heating.
• Delete cost of bonding (should have been omitted based on specification, but bonds were provided and cost was carried in original bid price).
• Delete builders’ risk insurance (not called for in specifications, but carried in bid).
• Hydroseed in lieu of sod.
• Change to asphalt patching in lieu of full replacement.
• Delete ceramic tile and add concrete polishing.
• Delete foundation waterproofing (not required or necessary).
• Reduce sloped insulation.
• GAF TPO mechanically-fastened roof in lieu of PVC membrane.
• Change design from ordinary hazard to light hazard (ordinary hazard is more typical of industrial or agricultural facilities).
• Change rink piping from galvanized to black.
• Remove wet system for new addition, only provide valve room work, fire department connection, dry valve, air compressor and dry system for the existing rink and bleacher area only.
• Change millwork contractor.
McRoberts told council that all of the listed items had been reviewed and considered by staff and the project’s architect, engineering consultants, and the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre renovation sub-committee.
There was little discussion before council approved the amended proposal.
Councillor Ray Chartrand asked about Morris-Turnberry Council’s approval and McRoberts told council that the partner municipalities’ portions of the project cost would not change as a result of the amended tender. Instead, he said, the overage would be absorbed by the fundraising committee’s efforts.
Several councillors asked about the fundraising committee’s donations versus pledges, asking how confident McRoberts was that pledges would come through during the prescribed period. He said he could never be entirely sure, but that he was quite confident that anyone who had pledged to the project would make good on their commitment.
Councillor Joe Steffler said council needed to move on the project now. Four years ago, he said, the municipality could have built a new community centre for half the cost, so council needed to move now.
Councillors also asked about money that had been put away specifically for the centre when the former Brussels Public School was sold. McRoberts said he didn’t know for sure if there was money there for the project, but he would investigate and report back to council.
Council carried the motion, accepting the amended tender of Elgin Contracting and Restoration Limited in the amount of $7,263,000 plus HST for the renovation and expansion of the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre.