The good fortune that smiled on the construction of the aquatic centre and most of the upgrades to Creston and District Community Complex (CDCC) has turned to a frown.
Regional District of Central Kootenay directors met in a special meeting on Thursday morning to approve an additional $2.1 million in borrowing to complete the arena project after a series of surprises added significantly to the anticipated project costs. The borrowing bylaw amendment was approved unanimously, according to Creston Mayor Ron Toyota.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, RDCK chief administrative officer Jim Gustafson said that additional funding is required to remedy a number of public safety issues:
•significant structural safety issues were revealed during demolition, which slowed the process and added costs;
•east, west and south support walls for the Creston Room needed replacement or restructuring;
•seven support columns for the north wall were replaced;
•asbestos removal was necessary from interior walls and pipes;
•three sets of three-phase conduit were replaced in order to meet safety code measures;
•steel corrosion during excavation was evident and required replacement;
•the excavation and fill costs were exceeded because of water infiltration;
•for safety reasons, the high-pressure ammonia receiver was replaced;
•many parts of the building’s original electrical feeds and distribution needed replacement;
•plumbing upgrades became necessary as the renovation continued; and
•two new gas main lines to the building and pool were constructed.
“The RDCK acknowledges that this is a major setback in the project, particularly after the fiscal success of Phase 1 and 2,” Gustafson said.
In 2006, a public referendum to borrow about $18.2 million for the project was approved by 58.7 per cent of voters. During the planning process, an additional $8.9 million was raised through grants, donations and property tax collections before construction was started.
Phases 1 and 2, which included construction of the aquatic and fitness centre, new hockey dressing rooms, a new entrance and foyer, new roof, curling club and Creston Room upgrades, were completed at a cost of $25.353 million, leaving $3.769 million for upgrades to the arena.
“The RDCK was of the opinion at the outset of Phase 3 that $3,769,358 was adequate funding to complete the arena project renovation,” Gustafson said. “This proved not to be the case as the condition of the arena was much worse than thought — extensive renovations revealed public safety issues that needed correction. These repairs delayed the planned construction and the facility was committed to meeting a September opening for the arena.”
Among the surprises discovered construction was running water beneath the northeast corner of the arena. Remediation added significantly to costs and time before new heating and cooling systems could be installed and the new concrete floor was poured.
In addition, it was discovered that supports for the north side of the Creston Room, which is constructed above the arena foyer, were grossly inadequate and posed a severe public safety concern.
“The Creston and District Community Complex is one of the finest facilities in Western Canada and is a centrepiece of the community,” Gustafson said. “Public safety issues and the continuation of the 2011-2012 arena season are the catalysts for additional funding to complete the project.”
For a complete copy of the RDCK board agenda package, go to www.rdck.bc.ca.