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City staff directed to issue RFP for new community and recreation centre

The new community and recreation centre project is moving forward to the next stage.  

Council is authorizing staff to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) for a Progressive Design Build for an arena project with a target budget of $60 million.  

They’re also calling for it to be substantially completed in 2025 and meet the Zero Carbon Building Design requirements to receive federal funding.  

Councillor Jamie Lowery voted against the motion, citing a few concerns.  

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“At the ad hoc committee we agreed $52 million was the upset limit,” he says. “The other thing that concerns me is we’re using absolutely every lever we have at our disposal to fund this. Whether it’s from OLG, or [Municipal Accommodation Tax] or gas tax.”  

Lowery also believes the answer is to rejuvenate West Ferris Arena.  

Councillor Mark King supported the motion but also says he’s torn by the situation.  

He says the location was decided about six years ago and they probably should’ve moved the project forward at that time.  

“It would have probably saved $20-30 million, but we didn’t do it,” he says. “Council of the day didn’t do it. I think we got tied up in some visions of grandeur.”  

A few councillors also noted they are not giving the green light to spend $60 million, they’re going to the next stage which will give a better indication of the price tag.  

They also say with a Progressive Design Build the project can evolve, and elements can be removed to keep the price in check.  

After the motion was approved, a notice of reconsideration was put forward by Councillor Lowery.  

Mayor Peter Chirico then said he’ll call a special meeting within 24 hours to deal with it.  


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