With the end of October just around the corner work on the Golden Civic Centre continues at a rapid pace to be prepared for the year end grand opening weekend.
On Sept. 18 representatives of the Civic Centre Redevelopment Committee came before the Golden Town Council to ask the town to support a recommendation which would increase the possible final cost of the project from $2.5 million to $2.8 million specifically for eight items on the project.
The additional money would be for items such as a Hydro upgrade, catwalks, timber framing and work on the kitchen.
At a previous meeting the council was asked to raise the cost from $2.1-$2.2 million to $2.5 million so in all if accepted the town would cover $600,000 of the project.
“When we last met I talked about the project that was going to be perhaps $2.1 or $2.2 million. And then, due to other costs, it was raised to $2.5 million. At $2.5 million it was going to still be about a third of what it would have cost to build a new building,” said Glen Ewan, committee member.
The group was in this meeting hoping council would authorize the new increase to $2.8 million.
“We wanted to get this project done right. It is not about building anything luxurious. It is about making a building we are proud of, a building Golden can be proud of. It is a building that is an important part of Golden, Ewan said. “This project has been a renovation project and when you look at this type of project you know that there are going to be surprises. We have had a couple of unfortunate surprises and a couple of happy surprises.”
Architect Len Brown was also on hand at the meeting to lend his expertise on why the extra funds were required.
Brown explained that some of the funds will be used to fix some minor problems.
“When we did dig down to the lower level, we noticed there were six large timber columns that had rotting bases and we did not know that until we got down into the concrete and took a look,” Brown said. The team working on the project said it was a simple choice to fix this issue because it made no sense to continue on without fixing the problems.
Brown added that issues like this happen with projects like this due to the fact you do not really know what you have until you get into a project and take things apart.
Drainage for the building has also been an issue which has to be fixed going forward with the project. Brown went on to explain the project has done very well in comparison to many projects on older buildings and has not run over budget in a drastic measure.
The group has also worked for over a year with BC Hydro to determine what changes were going to have to be made in the newly renovated building. When the final decision was made there were extra costs associated with the recommendations made.
Both Ewan and Brown stressed that the additional money would cover things in the building that need to be fixed.
After the presentation council was given the chance to ask questions to the presenters.
For the most part, councillors were impressed with the amount of work that has gone into the project, and the time and effort put in by the committee.
David Allen, chief administrative officer for the Town of Golden, explained after crunching the numbers that even with the increase request for funds, the project has been primarily funded outside using taxpayers money, which represents 13.3 per cent of the whole project.
Coun. Jamie Fitzgerald was sure the building was going to be a great thing in the end, but pointed out that six months ago the committee members were sitting in front of council asking for one increase and saying there was not going to be another one. She did say she was in support of the project, but as for the fact this will be the last time money will be requested, she said, “I am at a zero confidence at this point.”
After more discussion about the funding, council agreed to commit the extra funds required to complete the project. The town will use $377,782 from the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) and $224,218 from the Town of Golden 2011 Surplus.
Ewan also gave a great deal of credit to individual people and groups who have come forward to help the project.
“The people of Golden are going to get a new building, both inside and out, for a few hundred thousand of tax payers’ dollars. It has been an honour and pleasure to work on this project. I wanted this to be a project that my grandchildren in 60 years can take a look at and say that grandpa Glen was involved in that. It is worth every minute. It is a beautiful wonderful building.”