Report from Oversight team is all-positive
BY NATE SMELLE
The Pelham Community Center Oversight Committee was established by the Town to provide transparent oversight of the construction of the Pelham Community Centre (PCC) construction project in terms of the project’s cost and schedule, schedule objectives and the anticipation and management of risks. On Monday, June 19, Bill Gibson, Chair of the Committee, presented Pelham Town Council with an update on the construction of the new facility,
Professing to have “good news for Council,” Gibson reported that the project was moving ahead as planned. He said the “value engineering” process led by Ball Construction and risk-managed by the Oversight Committee had resulted in a project that currently has an excess of 75 percent of all sub-contracts awarded, including completed work.
“This results in the project being ahead of schedule and under budget including the 9,000 square feet of additional space,” said Gibson.
Stressing the point that the PCC was on schedule and under budget despite the additional 9,000 square feet, Gibson went on to explain in detail recent developments with the new public facility. When the need for an additional 9,000 square feet was first announced, the Committee had said they were looking at cost-saving measures that included constructing the concrete block walls to a height of 12 feet instead of all the way to the ceiling, and switching from American to Canadian-sourced brick.
Gibson acknowledged that the Committee had decided to stick with the original brick because it is a superior material and the cost would come in under budget. Still involved in the tendering process until the fall, he said he could not release the cost of the brick at the moment. Councillor Richard Rybiak expressed his thanks to Gibson and the Committee for keeping the project on track.
“The brick is the brick that the architect specified, but the price was not the original price,” said Rybiak.
“So, we kind of got the best of both worlds — we got the brick we want at the price we preferred.”
Gibson explained that the construction process was divided into three tender packages. Tender packages One and Two comprise 77 percent of the total project, and Gibson said that all the sub-contractors hired to date have agreed to the current schedule. Tender package One includes pre-grading site work, excavation, site servicing, foundation, structural steel, elevator and stairwell shafts, sprinkler system, roof deck, hollow core slabs. Tender package Two consists of concrete floors, reinforced steel (for masonry and slabs), interior/exterior masonry, miscellaneous metals, spray insulation, roofing, insulated metal siding, zinc paneling, metal doors and frames, finish hardware, glazing, drywall/acoustics, dash boards, and seating.
Next, Gibson walked Council through the stages of the construction underway or already completed. The project has already achieved several of the milestones as defined by the committee. For instance, Phases 1 to 5 of the structural steel construction have been completed as have the core slab construction and Phases 1 to 4 of the steel deck construction.
Though Phase 5 of the steel deck construction was scheduled to begin on July 24, Gibson told Council that because the project was moving ahead quicker than expected it would now be starting on July 4. He also indicated that the roofing crew will be back on site on July 10.
Gibson asserted that tender package Two will be completed and the building will be enclosed by mid-December as planned. He also said tender package Three will be tendered in late June and close at the end of July. According to Gibson, the PCC is projected to be substantially completed by June 1, 2018. Comparing the PCC construction to a facility of comparable size and type, Gibson told Council, “A friend of mine works for Mississauga and their Hershey Center is about the same size as our building and it cost them over $80 million fifteen years ago to build most the same structure. They had a population of 600,000 people at that time and here we have a population of 16,000 and we’re going to build it for less than half.”
The Town’s Acting Treasurer, Teresa Quinlin, took a moment to break down the project’s finances. She said the Town’s first debenture of $9,066,151 for the project was issued in December 2016. As of May 31, Quinlin said expenditures had totaled $7,227,856, leaving a balance of $1,838,295. The next debenture will be issued in mid-July for $951,776. The interest accrued on this debenture is $23,194.