By a vote of 8-2, North Bay City Council has approved the recommendation of its own ad hoc committee to proceed with a new community and recreation centre project with a $52 million upset limit.
Councillors Tanya Vrebosch and Jamie Lowery voted against. Coun. Mac Bain was absent. See Vrebosch's reasoning below:
The previous proposal was discarded after the opening of the bids in mid-June ended any hope of keeping construction costs near the estimate of approximately $44 million as three contractors submitted tenders ranging from $70.8 million to $82.3 million. Add another $8 million in design and ancillary costs to the low bid and it had ballooned to an $80-million project.
The matter was discussed at length on Tuesday with senior staff at the committee level with the majority vote later coming during the regular meeting.
See the full discussion below:
The approval directs staff to "prepare and issue a Request for Expression of Interest for the construction of a new Community and Recreation Centre to be located adjacent to the Omischl Sports Complex with an upset limit of $52 million dollars that will include the minimal functional programming," according to a report from CAO John Severino.
A draft of estimated space and program requirements for a cheaper, simpler build can be found here. Among the highest-priority amenities are two ice pads with seating for 250 spectators each; 12 change rooms with a capacity of 25 people; a barrier-free room for referees to hold eight; and, a parking lot with room for 223 vehicles, 10 accessible parking spaces and a drop-off area for transit.