Recreation centre upgrade on target for time, budget

Set to start renovations to the Stettler Recreation Centre this fall, tenders have come in on budget at more than $1.8 million.

Set to start renovations to the Stettler Recreation Centre this fall, tenders have come in on budget at more than $1.8 million.

At its regular meeting last week, Town of Stettler council approved the lowest tender of $1,810,675 from Shunda Consulting and Management to complete the project. The makeover includes work to renovate Stettler Public Library, convert the upper conference room into a new seniors’ centre, and reconfigure the main entrance and foyer with both levels.

“This is good news,” said Stettler Mayor Dick Richards. “It’s pretty well bang on the estimated cost.”

As the tender was awarded, council also included an option to negotiate the final details and costs, after some councillors expressed concern that the bid didn’t include cost of a high ceiling — a feature that could be eliminated.

Coun. Leona Thorogood said she opposed the high ceiling if the cost exceeded $30,000.

Project architect John Hull included a vaulted ceiling as an aesthetic feature.

Coun. Darcy Bachman, however, suggested that council include the fancy feature.

“Two or three years down the road, we may wonder why we didn’t include it,” Bachman said.

After the figures are finalized, the town plans to begin the project by September, with the library and seniors’ centre leading the way.

“Should council approve entering a contract, we will issue a letter of intent to Shunda on the town’s behalf and get the ball rolling as soon as possible,” Hull said.

For the Stettler project, Hull has proposed costs for.

— Entrance addition and foyer for both levels, for $635,788.

— Library renovations, for $643,628.

— Seniors’ social centre, for $519,863.

“We believe the estimate still reflects very good value for the town and the future of the recreation centre,” Hull said.

He said the budget increase reflects minor changes, with steps to upgrade lighting to energy-efficient, raising the library ceiling, and adding two air-handling units to provide better air control in the library and seniors’ centre.

Similar to the project to build the Stettler Sports Park, the upgrade to the SRC includes opportunities for special donations of money and furnishings from service organizations and citizens.

BOOKING OFF: Stettler Public Library is expected to be closed for two months when renovations start at the Stettler Recreation Centre in early September.

To help clear some of the shelves, the library plans to host a book sale, which runs from Aug. 22 to Aug. 25.

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