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HomeNewsMuskoka Lumber Community Centre construction contract awarded, pending council approval

Muskoka Lumber Community Centre construction contract awarded, pending council approval

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Aquicon Construction Company Ltd. has been awarded the contract to build the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre (MLCC).

The contract will cost the town up to $58,873,600. Town staff estimated the project would cost $44,664,800.

Bracebridge’s General Committee gave their stamp of approval Tuesday, but it will still need to be approved at the town’s next council meeting on December 22nd.

Aquicon was one of the four companies shortlisted by the town in December 2020. They originally, along with two of the other shortlisted companies, submitted bids about $20 million over staff’s initial estimate. 

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Substantial design changes were needed to reduce the cost of construction,” the staff report reads. Staff worked with Aquicon, an architectural firm, and other representatives – including Fowler Construction – to lower the bid by $7,986,000 without “compromising the facility program.”

In total, 13 engineering changes were made to the building with another 12 made to the arena, and four to the library design. They include changing the building shape by adjusting the height, reducing the floor size of the field house by about 250 square metres and increasing the size of the basketball courts to be NBA-sized, cutting the library down by 186 to 200 square metres, removing the “majority” of the perimeter trail, and reducing the amount or quality of selected interior finishes. Arena changes also include the possibility of the second arena not getting built. 

Another seven changes had to be made to the fieldhouse and auditorium, including shortening the soccer/futsal field. 

The re-designing of the MLCC will take one-and-a-half months at most to finish. The updated schedule from the town details that construction will start in May 2022 and finish by May 2024.

Ron Spina, Principal for Colliers Project Leaders, explained to committee on Tuesday that the reason for the higher-than-expected bids is because of “significant market conditions” stemming from COVID-19. The materials that were going to be used for the project have been sharp increases and Spina pointed out that there are at least nine other similar projects set to begin in Southern Ontario that drove up the bids for the MLCC.

The construction of the MLCC will be supported by the $16 million in provincial funding that was awarded to the town in July. The funding allowed the multi-sport field house and new Bracebridge Public Library to be part of the MLCC after they were removed in August 2020. At the time, the town was denied funding from the province.

Fowler Construction is currently preparing the site for when construction is expected to begin next year. Cindy O’Regan, Director of Recreation for Town of Bracebridge, said last month they expect that job to be finished by Christmas.

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