Design of Community Centre Progressing

At our April 7 meeting, Council received an updated timeline for the design and potential construction of a new Multi-Faceted Community Centre in the East Fonthill area.

You will recall that based on a resident survey, a detailed business case analysis and a comparison to industry standards, Council confirmed sustaining demand for a multi-faceted community centre containing a single-pad arena (with the potential second-pad after 2023), a fitness centre, walking / running indoor track, multi-purpose space, and gymnasium sports / uses. This business case demonstrated that the operating costs could be accommodated within the net costs for the existing arena ($92,486 in 2013). Given the dire condition of the existing arena, Council also determined that a potential new community centre should be part of other imminent East Fonthill developments – Medical Centre, Retirement Home, Wellspring Cancer Support Centre, and new retail.

Council appointed an Architectural Design Advisory Committee (ADAC) last August – with representatives from recreation user groups, youth, seniors, artists, service clubs and the community-at-large. In addition to recommending hiring the architect, the committee recommended adding a large multi-purpose, performing arts space (~6,000 sq ft), an atrium / shared public space (~9,600 sq ft) that would help link each of the centre’s main elements, and 1,200 to 1,500 spectator seats in the first arena to support ice and non-ice ice uses.

After working with the committee and presenting draft schematic designs in February, the Architect is now working with individual ADAC members on a series of specialized consultations. For example, representatives of ice users – figure skating, minor hockey, Junior B, etc. – met to review their specific needs. This process should be completed by the end of the April.

Based on these specialized consultations, the Architect hopes to present a final draft schematic design and preliminary capital-cost estimates in June. While ADAC and Council will review this plan, Council also wants to ensure that the public has a chance to review this progress at that time.

And, based on several requests from the community, Council has also asked for a concurrent report outlining the capital and operating cost-benefit analysis of building the second ice pad during the initial build instead of after 2023.

The Architect committed to presenting detailed design documents in September 2015. This will allow for “tighter” construction cost estimates. If these documents are approved, then “construction-ready” tender documents could be ready by January/February 2016.

This is an exciting project for Pelham! I will continue to keep you informed about progress on the potential multi-purpose community centre.

You may contact Mayor Dave at mayordave@pelham.ca with questions or to suggest future topics. Check out links for documents and past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com.