Campbell River city council has decided the time is now to move ahead with upgrades to the Sportsplex, despite bids on the work exceeding the amount budgeted for the project as proposed.
Upgrades to the Sportsplex were included in this year’s capital budget, valued at $3.55 million, as informed by a pre-tender design exercise, according to a city report included in the Jan. 24 city council agenda package. This work includes renovations of the building’s envelope — deemed necessary because of reported water leaks — plus a 1,100 square foot addition for storage.
But after the city received two bids on the project — both priced around $6 million — city council considered on Jan. 24 how to proceed with the renovations.
Mayor Andy Adams said in the meeting the work should be expedited, rather than deferred.
“This has been leaking for a decade,” said Adams. “I’m not surprised at the cost escalations, but I think entering into negotiations for the lowest price tender, and also simultaneously looking at options of funding shortfalls, is the prudent thing to move things forward as quickly as possible.”
The City of Campbell River posted a tender for the work late last year. Of the two bids it recieved, one tender was priced at about $5.8 million, while the other was just over $6 million, per the report. The higher tender was deemed non-compliant, as it did not include a list of subcontractors, as required. These tender results, plus a 10 per cent construction contingency, would equate to a budget shortfall of about $2.8 million for the project.
A decision from council was pressing, because for materials to be on site for the facility’s scheduled closure — from May 15 to September 30, 2022 — orders must be placed no later than the end of February 2022, according to the report.
Following a motion by Coun. Kermit Dahl, city council voted to direct staff to cancel the active tender and enter negotiations with the lowest-cost bidder to find ways to reduce the cost of the project. City staff were also directed to bring a report on the matter to council at a later date.
There was also a council discussion whether considering the deferral of other capital projects to fund the project should be done right away or assessed after an updated cost estimate is produced. City council decided to direct staff to assess other capital projects that may be deferred to help fund the project.