Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


City council seeking lower cost for multi use facility

By CJ Goater Nov 22, 2023 | 1:10 PM

Thunder Bay City Council - Acadia Broadcasting File

City council has approved a referral submitted by Councillor Mark Bentz that recommends that administration re-scope the Multi-Use Indoor Sports Facility plan through consultation with stakeholders to develop a statement of requirements so that the scope meets the needs of the community while ensuring a viable facility. This is expected to delay progress on the project by 4-5 months.

The maximum limit for the construction costs of a permanent hard-sided structure, the Multi-use Indoors Sports Facility is now set at $30 million and administration is working to revise the scope of the project to achieve this costing target through consultation with stakeholders to develop options for the statement of requirements.

To achieve a lower cost the facility may see a reduction of project scope including but not limited to the size of the field, amenities included, the LEED Silver Certification, the COTB Design Guidelines, and Net Zero Strategy.

Council has been hoping to maintain the LEED Silver Certification and the COTB Design Guidelines for the project, but the additional cost may outweigh the benefit, so the price for the facility is to be based on Ontario Building Code Standards with additional pricing added to meet COTB Design Guidelines and LEED Silver Certification;

Administration will have to recommend a financing strategy for the project as well as recommend a project delivery model and related procurement process that is best suited to ensuring that total construction cost does not exceed $30M while achieving the lowest life cycle and estimated operating costs of such a facility.

The referral had initially failed but clarification by the City Clerk sparked discussion that led to a re-vote.

“(If) council does not approve the financing strategy or provide alternate direction, the project is essentially dead,” explained City Clerk Krista Power

“It looks like we are going to lose this project, and I guess that’s what council wants,” added councillor Trevor Giertuga

Councillor Mark Bentz was not quite ready to let his referral go down, and he highlighted, “I’m really quite perplexed as to why the amendment lost, given that that’s what councillor Giertuga just asked for but with 33 million (Bentz proposed a $30 million cap), so I think we have to do some real hard thinking here… If you’re an all-or-nothing that’s fine, but it may lead to no project, so at some point, I think we should re-vote on the amendment (the referral submitted by Bentz).”

This comment sparked a re-vote, but before that got underway councillor Trevor Giertuga urged the council to reconsider their votes.

“If it’s an all or nothing I will support this, I don’t want to push it back another season, but I don’t want to lose this project. I would urge council that we don’t want to lose this project. I’ll change (my vote) even though it’s going to take another 4-5 months pushing onto it, just realize council we will lose this.” said Giertuga

Council heeded the warning and Bentz’s referral passed.

Administration is set to report back with options for the statement of requirements on or before March 24, 2024.

Before the referral council was set to receive a financing strategy from the office of the city treasurer but the proposed financing strategy outlined the construction estimate of $44,575,000 for the multi-use indoor sports facility proposed by SNO, modified to comply with CTB Facility Design Standards, and this was deemed too expensive.