On December 22, 2021, Bracebridge Town Council approved awarding the tender for a General Contractor for the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre (MLCC) to Aquicon Construction Ltd. At the same time, Council also approved the Capital Financing Plan for the MLCC.
“Having Aquicon Construction as our General Contractor is the final step forward in making the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre project a reality,” stated Mayor Graydon Smith. “When construction begins in May, 2022, we will embark on building a state of the art, multi-generational community hub that will be transformative for our community and all of Muskoka.”
The new Muskoka Lumber Community Centre will consolidate several community activities and services under one roof. It will house a single pad arena, auditorium, public library, multi-sport field house, concession/café, outdoor courtyard, playground and open spaces for recreational and passive uses. At the same time, to meet future community needs, an area for a second ice pad is being retained to allow for its construction to be integrated directly into the facility.
The facility is optimally inclusive, using principles of universal design, and provides visual connections between programs and activities, sparking interest and promoting participation throughout the community, irrespective of age, ability, ethnicity or income. “While infrastructure like this takes time to complete, to finally see the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre take this next step is a testament to all of the hard work put in by the community, user groups, Steering Committee and Fundraising Committee members, Town Council, the Bracebridge Public Library Board and various departments throughout the years,” said Mayor Smith. “Our business community has also been incredibly supportive of this project as they understand the importance of the healthy lifestyles residents and visitors will experience when they are able to use our amazing new facility. On behalf of our community, my sincere thanks to all those that have contributed to making this project a reality.”
As the low bid submission was substantially over the MLCC construction estimate, Colliers Project Leaders, MJMA and Town and Library staff negotiated with the lowest compliant bidder to reduce capital construction costs by approximately $8,000,000. Although substantial design changes were needed to reduce the cost of construction, design adjustments have optimized the space program and the changes have not compromised the functionality or programmability of the spaces within the MLCC.
The Town will enter into a stipulated price contract with Aquicon for an upset limit of approximately $57,873,000. Including site enabling works, contingencies, and other project costs, the total estimated budget for the MLCC is estimated at approximately $75,330,000. To fund these costs, the Town intends to issue municipal debentures of approximately $50,000,000, reserves of approximately $8,468,000, and grants of $16,862,000 approved under the Province’s Strategic Priorities Infrastructure Fund. The Town intends to support nearly half of its annual debenture payments using its existing $1,190,000 annual transfer to the Major Infrastructure Reserve. The Town has prudently increased the size of this transfer over the past several years in anticipation of ultimately leveraging it to finance the construction of the MLCC. The Town intends to fund the remaining debenture payments obligations using recurring sponsorship revenue related to the new facility, the majority of the recurring dividend received from Lakeland, and small, incremental increases to the general levy.
The Town’s project team, Colliers Project Leaders, MJMA and Aquicon are confident that the new Muskoka Lumber Community Centre will be open to the public by the summer of 2024.
Regular project updates are provided by the Town as work on the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre continues. For further information on the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre Project, visit the Town of Bracebridge website.