Ontario Construction News staff writer
Kitchener city council has decided to move ahead with the design and construction of a new indoor recreation complex including aquatics and indoor turf facilities at RBJ Schlegel Park. The concept and detailed design development are expected to continue into 2023.
The new facilities will be built to net-zero efficiency standards, designed to last “for the long term”. The aquatics facility is expected to cost approximately $55.3 million, and the indoor turf facility $37.9 million.
The $93 million cost is more than double the original $39 million estimate. City staff said rising construction costs and design changes are both factors in the increase.
“Nobody likes it that the cost has gone up as much as it has. It is the reality of the situation with inflation at the moment,” Councillor Margaret Johnston said at a council meeting.
Only one councillor voted against the project.
“It’s an excellent project,” John Gazzola said. “I just wish that perhaps we would question when a project goes from $39 million to $93 million.”
The facility will be funded by development fees on new residential, commercial and industrial developments, and $17.9 million from the provincial and federal governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
A $750,000 grant helped incorporate state of the art stormwater management features – new green infrastructure that will improve watershed health by minimizing stormwater runoff into the downstream system.