Area C Director Jim Abram is pleased seismic upgarding at Quadra Island Community Centre is going ahead. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Seismic upgrade a go at Quadra Island Community Centre

Strathcona Regional District board hires local firm to handle construction work

Work to upgrade the Quadra Island Community Centre is moving ahead.

At a Strathcona Regional District board meeting in October, Area C Director Jim Abram brought up the issue, saying he was happy the seismic upgrading on the site will be happening.

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“I’m very pleased that we finally got to this point where we’re doing the work,” he said. “We’ve had the grant money for quite some time…. It’s wonderful to get on with it.”

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The SRD board passed a number of motions for the project at the meeting on Oct. 10. The project had gone out to tender, which was one of the items on the agenda. As well, the SRD board had to do some housekeeping on the original agreement for funding from the province. This included a modification agreement between Victoria and the SRD as well as authorizing the board chair and corporate officer to execute the modification agreement.

Other motions included approving the contract for seismic upgrading of the Quadra Island Community Centre be awarded to J. Toelle Construction Ltd. in the amount $342,000, exclusive of taxes, and authorizing the board chair and corporate officer to execute the contract for the work.

J. Toelle Construction is a Quadra-based company that specializes in building homes but provides other construction services, such as design and computer assisted drafting, excavating and site development, additions and renovations, commercial building, auxiliary buildings like garages, shops and warehouses, resorts, surveying and permit applications, conventional and timber framed homes, remote builds and expertise in building to engineered seismic standards. The company serves Quadra Island as well as Campbell River, Cortes Island, Gold River and the Central Coast.

“I’m even more pleased that we were actually able to hire a construction company on Quadra Island that will hire Quadra Island people to do some pretty sophisticated work.,” Abram said.

In March 2017, the province announced it was awarding a $500,000 grant to the SRD for the project to bring the community centre up to current seismic standards. One contractor submitted a tender prior to the deadline, according to an SRD staff report.

The proposed timeline for construction work on the community centre is June to August 2019. The province’s contribution agreement was to end in February, but the modification to the agreement will run to Feb. 28, 2020 in order for the project to be completed. The construction will likely result in some disruption to regular programming at the centre.

The Quadra Island community centre is located at Blenkin Memorial Park on West Road. The Quadra Island Recreation Society leases the building and surrounding land from the SRD to provide a range of recreation and cultural services for the community. The centre has been identified as one of three emergency reception centres on Quadra Island in the event of an earthquake, so the seismic upgrade work will allow it to function as a true emergency reception centre.

In 2013, the SRD hired a firm, Herold Engineering Ltd. to complete a seismic report on the site. The firm also updated the report last year, and in April, it was the successful proponent to oversee the engineering design and the management of the construction tender.