Conceptual drawing of Aldergrove rec centre.

Aldergrove rec centre costs rise

Facility will cost $50 million to build, Township council informed

The Township of Langley will either have to find another $15 million or start cutting features from the planned Aldergrove recreation centre.

The news was delivered to the Monday afternoon meeting of council in a consultant’s report.

BTY Group of Vancouver estimated the cost of constructing a community centre with a new three-storey aquatic centre and two-storey ice arena at $50.3 million, more than the $35.5 million “spending envelope” originally approved by council.

The report was the first detailed conceptual design cost estimate prepared for the project.

The document was filed by Recreation, Culture and Parks director David Leavers along with his own report.

The Leavers report said some of the increased cost is because the consultant measured the gross floor area of the conceptual design at 84,000 square feet, up from the architect’s estimate of 76,250 square feet.

“It is important to note that [the original projected cost of $35.5 million was based on] this total gross area and these costs had not been confirmed previously by a qualified quantity surveyor,” Leavers stated.

The director said start of construction should be delayed until the funding issue can be sorted out.

“Staff would only be confident in moving forward at this time with a total project budget of approximately $50 million,” Leavers said.

He added staff believe some savings can be found to reduce the figure below the consultant’s estimate, including funding from other sources such as federal and provincial grants.

On top of the new $50 million construction cost estimate, Leavers said staff have also identified another $3 million in “off-site” costs connected with upgrading roads, water and sewer connections to accommodate the new centre.

Councillor Kim Richter called the revised figures “shocking” and said for that cost, the community should get the 50 metre, eight-lane pool residents originally wanted instead of the 25 metre, six-lane pool approved by council.

Councillor Charlie Fox hinted some cuts to the project could be required.

“It may take longer to get some of the amenities we planned for,” Fox said.

“It may not be all that we wanted.”

Councillor Steve Ferguson said much the same, sounding doubtful additional funds will be found.

“We have to do the best we can with the money we have,” Ferguson said.

Councillor David Davis, who has often questioned the need for a new ice arena in an area of Langley that already has one, was protective of the pool.

“We need to stick to the plan,” Davis said.

Council made no decision on the funding matter at their Monday meeting, the last before they take the month of August off from public meetings.

Neither the consultant’s nor Leavers’ reports addressed the impact on the cost estimate of council’s decision to build a larger pool than the four-lane, 25-metre “short course” pool recommended by staff, a notion that drew heat from pool supporters. At the time, an “Aquatic Needs Assessment” report by Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants (PERC) Inc. said going from four to six lanes would add $600,000 to $1 million to the cost of the project, plus an extra $150,000 to $200,000 a year to operate.

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