New community centre, library project will cost Oakville $16.5M more

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Published June 28, 2023 at 3:01 pm

Oakville Town Council unanimously approved a $16.5 million increase in the budget to help pay for the Sixteen Mile Community Centre and Library. TOWN OF OAKVILLE IMAGE

Oakville will have to dig deeper into its pockets to pay for the Sixteen Mile Community Centre and Library.

At a recent meeting, Council unanimously approved a $16.5 million increase in the budget to help pay for the cost of the facility which the Town says has gone up due to numerous factors, including high interest rates, labour shortages, issues with the supply chain and market instability.

Council had approved a budget of $57.3 million in 2023 for the project, but that was far short of the $74.8 million tendered by the lowest bidder.

After around $1 million dollars in engineering savings are taken into account, the 28 per cent budget increase will cover the cost of the construction which began this month and is expected to be completed in mid-2025.

Additional funding for the Sixteen Mile Community Centre and Library will be provided by parks and recreation development charges and debt ($12,957,000), library development charges and debt (2,515,000) and from capital reserve ($1,028,000).

The motion for the increased funding was moved by Ward 7 Councillor Nav Nanda.

“This is something that is going to bring all of our community together,” Nanda said of the difference the project will make in her ward. “We’ve all visited (Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre), so now we’ll be welcoming all of Oakville up to Ward 7.

“We’re just excited about great things happening ahead.”

In her report to council, Town Community Services Commissioner Colleen Bell pointed to the COVID pandemic as a main culprit for increased budget costs.

Building material prices are now up 35.6 per cent overall, which is quadruple of what it was in some markets.

“The impact of this instability has resulted in construction projects, particularly high-dollar construction projects, being quoted at grossly higher amounts,” said Bell in a report to Town Council. “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry has experienced rapidly accelerating cost escalations at unprecedented rates.”

Bell said also affecting the market is a shortage of contractors which is resulting in the Town receiving fewer bid submissions than before the pandemic.

Bell said a construction project similar to the Sixteen Mile Community Centre and Library would receive nearly 15 bids.

“This project received only five bids and two met the established technical threshold,” she said. “Receiving fewer bids often leads to a less competitive process as you must select from a limited number of submissions rather than a larger competition pool.”

Work on the Sixteen Mile field house and sports fields began this month while a cricket pitch and two multi-purpose sports fields are expected to be completed late this year.

Other projects slated to be completed by the end of 2024 include a skateboard park, splash pad and playground, a fitness station and a bike pump track.

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