Community Centre Update January 2021

Community Centre project prepares to move forward to competitive tendering

After a slight delay, the Community Centre project team is preparing to move forward to the market with a competitive tendering process.

Council received an update on the Community Centre project team at its meeting on January 25, 2021. Liam Edwards, Chief Administrative Officer presented a report on behalf of the project management team, outlining work completed to date and next steps in the project.

Since the referendum in September 2020, the project team has been busy preparing documents to be issued for the public competitive tendering process. This involved gathering the design team back together with mechanical, electrical and structural consultants to ensure the architectural design completed in 2018 aligns with more recent Building Code requirements and meets conditions within the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program grant. As a result, the building will perform to a higher standing, with enhanced sustainability and accessibility features.

As of October 1, 2020, all new developments on Bowen Island must meet Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code, and the Community Centre is no exception. Therefore, the Building Permit issued in 2018 for the project must be revised and reissued with the final design drawings. The project was designed with accessibility in mind and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program includes additional requirements to enhance accessibility throughout the building, resulting in a minor expansion to ensure the design meets or exceeds these requirements.

In addition, the design of the Municipal Hall portion of the building was reviewed in the context of space requirements for current and future needs, improved operational efficiencies and COVID/pandemic safe workplace. The 2018 design did not account for the consolidation of all municipal office staff (except outside public works staff) into the new Municipal Hall, and as such additional space is required. To minimize the necessary expansion, the closed office spaces in the new Municipal Hall design have been reduced in size. The 2018 design also did not accommodate any future growth and therefore two approaches are being taken to accommodate this deficiency: one, a very modest increase has now been included; and two, where appropriate future consideration a combination of shared workspaces and work-from-home schedules may accommodate future growth needs. Further considerations for air circulation and other factors that the current pandemic has taught us about have also been included in these minor revisions.

A Quantity Survey report detailing 90% of the estimated construction costs was commissioned, giving the project a clearer view of the change in costs between 2018 and 2020. This was also an opportunity to review costs line by line to identify potential cost savings. While the project has seen some potential cost escalations due to time (the original cost estimate was completed in 2018) and minor revisions (as identified earlier), cost savings have also been found through the review and will continue to be identified as the project progresses. Cost savings are being focused are areas of the facility that have the lowest amount of public use such as the Municipal Hall offices in an effort to ensure highest value can be achieved in the areas that will receive highest public use. These revisions and increased detailed design put the project in a good position for the competitive tendering process.

Meanwhile, following the successful referendum result in September, our fundraising team has been reaching out to the donors who pledged a financial contribution. “It is truly a community effort that has gotten us so close to building the Community Centre,” said Gary Ander, Mayor and Chair of the Community Centre Select Steering Committee, “we thank everyone who has generously donated to the cause.”

The work with the design team to produce final architectural drawings will result in a minor delay of 2-3 months before the tender documents are expected to be issued. We anticipate the tendering process to be completed with an award to the preferred bidder in summer 2021, with construction beginning in early fall of 2021.

“If the bids received through the tendering process mean we need to re-scope the project, the Municipality assures Council and the public that the integrity of the project will be maintained.” said Liam Edwards, Chief Administrative Officer. “The functionality of the community spaces, based on established programming needs of the community, will not be compromised.”