Wabash Community Centre budget increases by $6 million

Photo of old linseed factory in afternoon light

The City purchased the old Canada Linseed Oil Mill site in 2000 as the home for the new Wabash Community Centre

More planning details on the Wabash Community Centre have been released by the City as part of the 2018 Capital Budget process.

And a hint that a pool may be included in the planning discussions was released earlier in the City’s new Facilities Master Plan.

The Parks, Forestry and Recreation Capital Budget document, which still must pass City Council at a vote in February 2018, recommends a $6 million increase in the project’s overall budget, from $34 million to $40 million, flowing over five years from now till 2022. The extra funding was added “to account for program requirements and recent costs for construction.”

The budget recommends $413,000 in 2018 spending, primarily on preliminary design work, following a modest $30,000 expenditure in 2017.

In a related development, in November Council passed the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (FMP), a document that analyzes current facilities, identifies gaps and trends, and lays the groundwork for the next 20 years of investment for the growing and changing city.

The FMP recommended that indoor pools be including in planning for 15 new or replacement community centres over the next 20 years. Wabash was on the list.

The new community centre will be located in Sorauren Park at the site of the old linseed oil mill. The non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park (incorporated as the Wabash Building Society) plans to hold community consultations in 2018 regarding design and construction plans for the new centre, which has been the subject of discussions for more than 25 years.

Sign up for the Sorauren Park News e-newsletter, or follow SoraurenPark on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and meeting notices.

The 2018 Capital Budget plan for Council consideration includes a section on the Wabash Community Centre. It is reproduced here:

Wabash Community Centre

The project scope includes design and construction of a new community centre of approximately 62,265 square feet (sq.ft.). Specific program components will be determined through a combination of the results of the existing building (40 Wabash [linseed oil factory])/site assessment, internal stakeholders, and community consultation processes.

Project Deliverables and Status:

The proposed target gross floor area, may be verified/adjusted through an assessment of the existing structure at 40 Wabash and immediate site, related impacts including any restoration, remediation, and allocated budget. This along with programme development, will in turn determine the extent of new vs. renovation/restoration, or addition to the existing.

Proposed Preliminary Project Schedule includes Pre-design/Site Investigations/Updates in 2017; Consultation, Programming and Schematic Design in 2018; Design Development/Construction Documents in 2019; Construction Procurement in mid-late 2019; and Construction from 2020-2022.

Project Challenges:

Anticipated challenges on this project relate to site specific impacts / existing conditions on site, which include an existing building, related site remediation, and mitigation strategies related to the adjacent rail corridor (crash wall etc). These factors will necessitate additional project approvals with Authorities Having Jurisdiction including the Ministry of the Environment and Metrolinx.

In addition, any delays in the tendering process may result in delays in delivery of the project and increase cost. Mitigation strategies include: meeting with stakeholders and authorities having jurisdiction during the schematic design and design development phase of the project. Increased cost risk due to the site specific conditions and potential escalations will be monitored by having cost estimates prepared at key milestones in the project development.

Financial Update:

The design of the new community centre was approved by City Council through the 2017 Capital Budget, at a cost of $1.6 M. The construction phase, in the amount of $32.394 M, was included in the 2017 Ten-Year Capital Plan.

Through the 2018 Preliminary Capital Budget, $6.0 M in funding will be added to the project budget to account for program requirements and recent costs for construction.
Anticipated Future Financial Impact:

Operating impacts of $0.840 million and 22 positions are included in the future year outlook of the Parks Forestry and Recreation 2018 Operating Budget and will be further refined in future Operating Budget Submissions.

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