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Summerland pulls from reserve fund to finish cultural centre renovation

The District also cut down on some upgrades to the centre to reduce the cost

The cost for renovations on Summerland’s Arts and Cultural Centre grew beyond expectations and required money to be taken from the reserves.

On Feb. 8, district council voted to both reduce the scope of the project, and to pull from the land reserve fund to cover the costs of the project.

The project began with council putting $250,000 towards the renovations in 2017, which was matched by a grant received from BC Gaming to the Summerland Arts Council. The Rick Hansen Foundation also provided $20,000 for washroom accessibility improvements.

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From the initial $520,000 budget for the project, $93,830 was spent on developing design plans for a larger project to base a federal grant application on, which was not successful.

In June 2020, it was decided to go forward with a smaller renovation, with Meiklejohn Design Studio and Williams Engineering contracted to complete the design and project management for $100,963.

That left $325,207 for the project, which was not enough to meet any of the three budgets provided during the bid process for contractors, which ranged from $550,000 to $700,000.

Instead, removing some items such as upgrades to the fire sprinkler suppression system, storage areas and smaller scale replacements for lighting and mechanical equipment was approved for the project to go forward.

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Council also approved drawing $129,000 from the land sale reserve fund to cover the remaining budget.

The land sale reserve was projected for 2021 to have a balance of $923,482 before council’s decision.

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About the Author: Penticton Western News Staff

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