Petroff Achitects won out over three other firms to design a multi-purpose community centre for Pelham.
Town council approve the recommendation from its staff and its architectural design advisory committee at its regular meeting Monday.
The Toronto-based firm will receive $1.05 million to take the process through the first three design phases.
Treasurer Cari Pupo told council there are six phases of architectural work in a construction project such as a community centre.
The first three phases will bring the design to a stage that is would make it ready for bidding on construction but would not layout construction work, she said.
In answer to a question from Ward 3 Coun. Peter Papp, she said the remaining three stages would involve architect fees tied to the final cost of the community centre.
Town council has not decided to build a multi-purpose centre. Depending on what it contains, such as one or two ice pads, the estimated final price could range from $26 million to $39 million.
It did appoint an architectural design committee of volunteers drawn from groups interested in a centre.
John Nicol, chair of the committee, in answer to a question from Ward 2 Coun. Gary Accursi, said the 13-member committee has been working with enthusiasm through 13 to 14 hours over four meetings.
“Everyone has left their baggage at the door,” he said about each member’s special interest.
The committee reached a consensus on the architect following guidance from staff on the procurement policy, he said.
Staff recommended using $600,000 already in the town’s 2014 budget for part of the fee and suggested including $450,000 in the 2015 budget.
With the possibility of a change in membership on council in the Oct. 27 municipal election, Accursi moved an amendment to take the $450,000 from a reserve fund. It would ensure the fee is paid without penalties in case there is a change of direction with a new council.
Ward. 3 Coun. John Durley recommended $450,000 in 2015 budget to replenish the reserve fund for other projects.
Mayor Dave Augustyn said by taking the community centre project through this design phase it will put the town in a position to apply for federal or provincial grants, if they become available.
Similarly, potential private donors will want to see what the town has planned before committing funds, he said.
Pupo estimates the three design phases, which involve working with the architectural design advisory committee, will take six to eight months to complete.