Design details and budget to be reverted to Aquatic and Wellness Center Board

With respect to the proposed Aquatic and Wellness Center (AWC), two options were presented to council for consideration on Tuesday, October 11 (2022).

The first option was to develop the north side of Tomlinson Drive, but several constraints such as the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) building and a complete renovation of the existing administrative offices presented obstacles.

The second option was to have the development on the east side of the Plex adjacent to Wellington Street where the BMX track is currently located, but the skateboard park will remain.

When reviewing the designs, the consultant said parking was also a major concern going forward.

Option 2, a two-storey building, was recommended by staff and the consultant as it would allow greater flexibility when considering:

  • The possibility of staggering the construction,
  • Less disruption to existing operations at the municipal office and the Plex during construction,
  • More physical real estate that allows adjustments during the detailed design phase,
  • Improved site traffic for all on-site amenities, and
  • The retention of natural light in the Plex lobby and municipal offices.

The board also opted to increase the number of swim lanes in the pool from six to eight, as recommended by the Breakers swim team for competitions, and to increase the walking track from three to four lanes.

However, all upgrades come at a price, as bid prices continue to rise. With the increase in swimming lanes, the project is also expected to grow from 50,000 square feet to 54,000 square feet.

The initial 2019 budget forecast a construction cost of $26 million for 50,000 sq.ft. at $520/sq.ft. By 2022, market studies indicate that the order of magnitude average cost for community aquatic facilities in the province of Ontario will be in the range of $630/square foot. This represents an increase of approximately 21% over a three-year period, primarily due to economic conditions attributed to the pandemic and market disruptions. The projected cost for 2023 is $34.15 million plus an additional $2.73 million for the two additional swim lanes. The escalation through 2023 is expected to be 9.8%, which would reflect a cost of $683/sq.ft. pi next year.

“We’ve been talking about this pool for 18 years,” Deputy Vice Mayor Mike Myatt said, “and the costs are only going to go up. The community also needs to realize that if it wants all the bells and whistles, it will have to help. I would also like the staff to look at any possible grants and in combination with fundraising we may be able to reduce costs. »

Councilor John Divinski added that if it is a world-class development, the extra lane and track should be included. “If we’re going to spend that kind of money, we’ll only have one chance to get it right. We need the eight lanes to organize regional and provincial swimming competitions. Option 2 allows us to do whatever we want.

“I agree with Councilor Divinski,” said Councilor Matt Carr. “Let’s get it right so we don’t look back 10 or 15 years – we have to look 30 or 40 years from now. It’s going to cost a lot of money and we know that now, so we have to do it right once.

Councilor Mini Jacques asked about the energy efficiency of the new construction and said she also liked Option 2 which includes outdoor space.

“There is a real opportunity here to create a grand entrance for the building,” said Mayor Luke Charonneau. “It should be a window that is not necessarily dedicated to car traffic in front of the building. There should be a public space.

Deputy Mayor Don Matheson also stressed that there should be internet access throughout the facility. “Everyone is on the phone today and the building should be wired and also so that those outside have access.”

“We are moving these great projects forward to serve our active and growing population,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “As we build these new facilities, we are improving the health of our residents and establishing Saugeen Shores as a regional center for sports and recreation.

Council ordered staff to return on December 12e with more detailed design and project budget. The approved conceptual design came after the City solicited feedback from residents at a public meeting on Aug. 31.stas well as through public submissions and extensive consultations.

Construction of the AWC is expected to begin in June 2023, with a public opening in the spring of 2025.

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