It is better to be safe than sorry.
Although by all reports renovations at the Penticton Community Centre are still on schedule, city council voted unanimously last week to apply to extend the March 31 deadline for substantial completion of the project to Oct. 31.
Approval will give the city and its construction team some welcome breathing room when it comes to laying the asphalt around the building, as missing the deadline would make the city ineligible to receive portions of the $15.5 million infrastructure stimulus grants awarded it by the provincial and federal governments.
The opportunity to apply for the one-time extension was announced by the two senior governments late last year, according to recreation manager Dave Lieskovsky.
“Currently, the entire community centre pool project is on track to be completed by March 31,” explained Lieskovsky. “However, one challenge to the schedule is that the provider of the construction project requires asphalt surfacing.”
Asphalt, however, is a seasonal product, Lieskovsky said, with the opening date of the two local asphalt plants dependent on the weather.
“So because the federal government offered us this extension, we thought just in case we have an unfortunate spring and the asphalt plant doesn’t open up until April, rather than late March, we will take them up on their offer,” he said.
“We are only doing this as a precautionary measure in case there is a postponement of the asphalt plant opening.”
Lieskovsky said beyond asphalt, the city would not be able to use the potential extension on other areas of the project because the extension announcement came after much of the construction, which required expensive double-shifting to stay on schedule, had already been done. It also came after the city had already signed contract agreements for the rest of the work.
“We had shifts going in the morning and right through to midnight every night in parts of September and all of October to ensure that we were staying within the very absolutely tight timeline,” said Lieskovsky. “So the money was already spent on any double shifting that had to be done by the time the announcement was made.
“The rest of our contracts with all of the subs, the construction manager and everybody else on site, all of our contracts and all of our synchronization, is already signed off on the timeline that ends at the end of March. So if we decided let’s relax everything into April, May and June, it is actually going to cost us more money because we have a construction manager on site that is paid up to the end of March, and if he is going to have to be on-site past that, then we have to pay more.”
Lieskovsky said that as the project stands now, the centre looks excellent.
“I think I can confidently say for those people who are familiar with the old building, they are going to walk into the new building and they will be extremely impressed with the transformation. It will be a dramatic change from what people are used to,” he said.
“If you are length swimmer, the 10-lane pool is absolutely beautiful. If you are playful and you have a family, the leisure pool is exceptional. It is really a family affair. And if you are a fitness buff, the panoramic views from the second floor, with all the glazing, is really impressive.
“People will have a lot of fun with it.”