Today, the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre project team presented an update on the facility to General Committee. Construction is progressing on schedule and is 67% complete, with the building slated to open in the summer 2024. During the winter and spring months ahead, construction will focus on the interior of the facility, including the installation of the HVAC and arena refrigeration plants, completing flooring, millwork, arena seating, lighting, signage and painting. The project has seen an incredible amount of philanthropic, community and sponsorship support, amounting to nearly $4 million toward making the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre a reality.
Throughout the project timeline, the Town has undertaken a thorough, progressive, and staged process in developing the plans for this generational facility, resulting in a functional, multi-use design to be enjoyed by residents and visitors. However, proceeding with this substantial project, during a time of unprecedented economic challenges and elevated commercial construction prices, has added extra pressures to be addressed.
Today, staff requested a 3.98% increase to the project budget, totaling $2.9 million dollars, for the redesign and construction of the stormwater management pond and to manage any unforeseen contingencies to see the remainder of the project through to completion.
This past summer, project contractors determined that plans for the projected wet stormwater management pond could not be completed as initially designed due to evidence of high groundwater and unstable soils that had not been present during site testing or construction activities completed to-date. Accordingly, the plans must be updated to accommodate a dry stormwater management pond, which requires a quality structure that provides adequate total suspended solids removal. Most of the stormwater management pond has already been constructed, so additional components will be added to incorporate this change in design.
Construction and design changes are often identified with construction projects of this magnitude. The project team’s recommendation to proceed with an increase to the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre project budget has been made based on a full evaluation of options, consideration of the project delivery schedule, and impact on service delivery when programming is being provided to the community. The information presented builds on the detailed analysis done to-date and represents a thorough and diligent approach to proceeding with this landmark project.
A final decision on the project budget increase for the completion of the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre will be reviewed at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, December 13.