Ontario Construction News staff writer
A number of construction projects in the City of Orillia will proceed while many others are postponed following the province’s new list of essential services, which came into effect on April 4, 2020.
After review of the revised essential service list and in consultation with the province, the city is proceeding with the construction of the Orillia Recreation Centre, Front Street Reconstruction, and the Horne Business Park Expansion, along with critical water/wastewater projects, and facility and sidewalk maintenance projects deemed essential at this time, OrilliaMatters reports.
“The construction projects proceeding are required to meet the critical needs of the city and will help jump-start our local economy when we come out on the other side of this,” Mayor Steve Clarke is quoted saying.
The Orillia Recreation Centre is well over 90 per cent complete and will be the City’s designated emergency evacuation centre and therefore essential to continue. Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital is investigating a number of sites as potential locations for an alternative patient care site, should it be required in the future, and they have identified the new recreation centre as one of those locations.
Currently, the city’s emergency evacuation centre is Rotary Place Arena. Atlas Construction, the contractor for the project, has implemented strict protocols to ensure the health and safety of workers on site and adherence to physical distancing measures.
Orillia Matters reports that many construction projects planned for 2020 were put on hold because of COVID-19 and the new provincial essential services list including, but not limited to, the reconstruction of Bleeker Street, municipal parking lot upgrades, transit system improvements, Rotary Aqua Theatre improvements, the annual road resurfacing and non-essential building improvements at City-owned facilities.
The City will continue to work with all of its contractors to help ensure adherence to physical distancing and other COVID-19 prevention measures.