Construction of the City of Whitehorse's new operations building is behind schedule, and on track to cost about $4.2 million more than expected.
According to city staff, the cost has gone up because of issues with the design of the building. The architecture firm has had to make about 200 changes to the design specifications, and that's meant additional costs and delays.
"They've been fine-tuning and working with the design, coming up with solutions, working with the contractor and revising the design in order to fill in these gaps, that ideally probably should have been included in the original design," city engineer Wayne Tuck told councillors on Monday.
The operations building will house the city's fleet maintenance, waste and water services, transit and engineering departments. It's being built off of Range Road, near the top of Two Mile Hill.
A tender for the construction was awarded in 2017 to Ketza Construction, at a price of $39.2 million. The revised price is now about $43.5 million.
A report to city council says it's typical to allow for up to 5 per cent in "contingency allowances" on a project of this size. But the revised cost of the operations building is about 11 per cent more than the original bid.
Some councillors are not happy.
"I'm just going to express my extreme frustration on behalf of the contracting community, regarding the management of this project," said councillor Samson Hartland.
Tuck told council that the architecture firm, Toronto-based RDHA, has not been charging for its additional work to modify the building's design.
"The 200 changes certainly are significantly more than we would expect for a project like this, and RDHA recognizes that," Tuck said.
The additional costs relate to the Ketza's work to make the changes, and the longer time frame to compete the building. The original completion date was Jan. 31, 2019; it's now estimated to be mid-September.
Tuck says the good news is that even though the project is costing more than expected when the tender was awarded, it's still technically under-budget.
The whole project is now estimated to cost about $52,425,000. That's under council's originally-approved budget of $54,940,000.