By Chad Ingram
McDonald Brothers Construction – the company that built the new Minden Hills arena and recreation centre – will receive a contract of nearly $14,000 to seal floors in parts of the new building, something that was not included in the initial budget for the nearly $13-million facility.
During a March 25 meeting, councillors received a staff report from community services director Craig Belfry regarding a contract for sealing floors in the arena stands, the upper level washrooms, and in the hallway between the arena and the gymnasium.
“I’m really disappointed that something like this was not included in the original bid, knowing that it needs to be done,” said Deputy Mayor Lisa Schell. “That makes absolutely no sense to me, so that’s just my little rant for this item.”
“To build on that comment, not having a [community services] director for upwards of a year, there’s negative consequences, and I would say that’s one of those, that probably would have been caught, if Craig had been around,” said Mayor Brent Devolin.
Belfry was hired by Minden Hills in November last year, with his predecessor Mark Coleman resigning from the position in early 2020.
Staff received two bids on the floor-sealing contract – one from a Peterborough-based company for nearly $30,000, and one from McDonald Brothers for $13,722.62, plus HST.
McDonald Brothers and Parkin Architects Limited in a joint bid were the sole bidders on the arena project. With an initial budget of $12.5 million, McDonald Brothers came back to council in December of 2019 requesting an additional $250,000, which was approved, bringing the budget to $12.75 million.
Council has since approved tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of additional items that were not included in the project’s initial budget, including $14,000 for way-finding signage; nearly $10,000 for a projector and screen; $15,000 for lobby furniture; $60,000 for office furniture; a fitness room control panel for $7,300; and additional security cameras for $7,100. The painting of volleyball lines on the gym floor was also not included in the original budget, and McDonald Brothers was paid $1,338 for that work.
McDonald Brothers was in charge of contracting out sub-trades on the project, under what is referred to as an integrated project delivery framework. Under that framework, any savings found from tendering sub-trades was to be directed into a contingency account known as the “profit pool,” with any monies in that account to be split between the builders and the township once the project was completed. The township’s portion would have gone toward paying for some of these additional items, however, there was no contingency.
A snack bar was also not included in the project’s initial design, something councillors have decided they want included in the facility. The budget for the snack bar is $60,000, and during last week’s meeting, council awarded the contract for its architectural design to Parkin Architects Limited for $13,535, plus HST. The remainder of the $60,000 is to be spent on electrical and mechanical work, millwork, doorways and equipment.
While the new facility is largely complete, it has remained closed to the public amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.