ELORA - Plans for major renovations at the Elora Community Centre are moving ahead.
At Monday’s meeting, council approved hiring a Toronto-based architectural firm to develop and design the project.
The township learned it had received just over $3.6 million in provincial and federal funding to renovate and expand the 40-year-old facility in April. Centre Wellington will be responsible for $1.3 million of the total $5 million project.
Managing director of community services Patricia Newson gave council an overview of the scope of the renovation at Monday's meeting.
Work will include the replacement of the arena floor, along with the refrigeration system beneath it. New boards and glass will be installed. Accessibility improvements will be made to the change rooms, washrooms, hallways and entrances. The refrigeration and mechanical room will also be moved to the far end of the building.
“Right now the ammonia plant is very close to the lobby,” Newson said. “For public safety, we want to move that to the other end of the building.”
If the budget permits, more space for recreation programming will also be added to the facility, Newson continued.
The township hopes to start construction around August of 2022, likely after lacrosse season finishes. The plan is to have the updated facility open by fall of 2023, in time for hockey season, Newson explained.
The architect fees approved Monday, estimated at $494,700, fall under the total project budget. The company contracted, RDH Architects, was part of the project team that expanded and renovated the Sportsplex in Fergus around 15 years ago.
While the township had “some challenges” with a contractor working on that project, the architectural firm did “great work,” CAO Andy Goldie said.
Centre Wellington reached out to RDH Architects and another company directly, after the only submission received during the open tender process failed to meet criteria.
A backlog of work, potentially caused by COVID-19 could be behind the lack of interest, Dan Wilson, managing director of corporate services and treasurer told council.
“I’d say for the most part, people are just extremely busy right now and not bidding unless they have to,” Wilson said.
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com