New Gore Bay fitness centre gets green light

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Despite construction bids being much higher than budgeted for

GORE BAY – The new fitness centre in Gore Bay will be constructed despite the fact that tenders for construction of the new building came in substantially more than had been anticipated and budgeted for.

At a recent Gore Bay general government committee meeting, tenders for construction of the building were opened. The town received two bids, one from W.S. Morgan in the amount of $693,000 plus HST, and a second bid from SCB in the amount of $917,000 plus HST. 

“Both of these bids are well over what we budgeted,” said Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne at the committee meeting. “The budget had been set at $650,000—we don’t have the money in our budget to put into that.” His recommendation was that neither bid be accepted, pointing out he had expected the bids to be between approximately $400,000-500,000.”

Committee member Jack Clark said one option that could be considered is, “to go back to J.L. Richards to look at downscaling the building itself.”

Subsequently Gore Bay Clerk Annette Clark told council at a meeting last week that there had been developments on the fitness centre. She pointed out the general government had agreed to not make a recommendation until the town staff talked to the funder of the fitness centre. Town staff did that and now the funder has indicated they will pick up the additional unexpectedly higher construction bid cost. 

Council was told that the town could still apply for funding under a couple of sources for the interior equipment for the fitness centre. 

“Do we have to make a final decision tonight?” asked Councillor Kevin Woestenenk. 

“So if we go ahead with the construction, with the bids over budget, these funds would be covered by the funder?” asked Councillor Ken Blodgett. “They taxpayers are looking for it to be constructed.”

Councillor Woestenenk asked what the estimated operating costs on the building would be for the 2,400 square foot building. 

It was pointed out the final determination has not been made by the committee, for example what membership fees would be to use the fitness centre, and that the town has received offers from volunteers who would like to provide fitness training sessions, for instance. 

“I would recommend that we go ahead and have it covered, and have membership fees to help cover it (operating fees),” said Councillor Blodgett.

After further brief conversation council passed a motion to accept the tender from W.S. Morgan in the amount of $693,000 plus HST for construction of the fitness centre. 

Mayor Osborne told the Recorder it had been hoped the building would be finished by December, but now the town is looking for it to be complete probably sometime in January. The building will be 65 feet long and 36 feet wide. The actual gym/fitness area is 40×36 foot (approximately 1,440 square feet in size). It will include change rooms and bathrooms including one universal bathroom.