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A $10 million renovation of the Lion’s Head District Community Centre and Arena is one step closer to becoming a reality.

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On Monday, Northern Bruce Peninsula councillors carried a motion directing the Barrie-based Salter Pilon Architects to commence with construction management for the design and construction of the Lion’s Head arena renovation project and for costs to be capped at $10 million, excluding HST and architectural fees.

Salter Pilon was first awarded a contract for architectural consulting services contract for the renovation project in September 2022, at a cost of $1,192,000.

Representatives from Salter Pilon presented at Monday’s council meeting as a delegation.

Staff noted in their report the original request to bidders was for a “Design-Bid-Build” project proposal, but Salter Pilon presented an alternative “Construction Management” proposal, which they say allows the municipality to cap costs and could cut four months off the project’s anticipated completion date, estimated to be by the winter of 2025.

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“Due to a decrease of trades and the volatility of construction prices there is a growing resistance among the construction industry regarding the traditional Design-Bid-Build process,” the report said.

Future meetings regarding the layout and design of the renovations will include council members, and once approved, placed on the website, as well as physical drawings at the arena, with QR codes for commenting by the public.

The municipality is set to fund just over half of the estimated $10 million price tag of the project – $5,060,454 – funded through a loan with an estimated $300,000 impact on the municipality’s operating budget annually based on a 20-year amortization period at the current interest rates.

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Staff said revenue from municipal programs, such as the municipal accommodation tax, could help offset the arena renovation’s impact on the annual operating budget.

The municipality has received the other half of the anticipated cost of the project in provincial and federal funding as well as a contribution from the NBP Capital Reserve.

In total, The municipality has received $4,939,545.60 for the project $1,317,376.82 from the NBP Capital Reserve, $1,646,350.54 in provincial funding and $1,975,818.24 in federal funding.

Salter Pilon Architecture has been involved with several municipal construction projects including the Orangeville Courthouse addition, the OPP general headquarters, and the Grey Bruce Health Unit.

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Northern Bruce Peninsula CAO Peggy Van Mierlo-West said the next steps for the municipality will be to hire a contract manager and move forward with the design of the arena.

In 2012, plans were prepared for the Lion’s Head District Community Centre and Arena Renovation for the FedDev Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund application, according to a staff report. The grant application was unsuccessful.

In 2015, the municipality submitted the same proposal for the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure program, but the grant submission was again unsuccessful.

In 2020, the municipality successfully applied for a Community, Culture and Recreation grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program using the same design.

Subsequently, in 2022, the municipality solicited design input from focus groups which resulted in several proposed changes including adding an outdoor walking track and expanded parking.


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