BY ANDREW SMITH
LISTOWEL – The prospect of having shovels in the ground for the new Steve Kerr Memorial Complex draws nearer with the approval of a submission from Ball Construction Ltd. for construction management services.
John Verwey and Bill Woods of the North Perth Recreation Complex Committee presented the recommendation to North Perth council on Monday night, selecting Ball Construction Ltd. from a list that began as 16 companies expressing an interest in bidding on the project. Parks and recreation director Steve Hardie said the committee’s selection was based on factors like cost and the company’s experience with recreation facilities.
“We were able to pare that down based on pre-determined scoring and weighting system we had established through the committee,” Hardie said. “There was a number of factors involved in that, it was a long process we went through.”
Hardie said Ball Construction Ltd. was one of six companies to submit a complete proposal for the project and interviewed further by North Perth staff and recreation complex committee members. According to Hardie, the project is looking on budget with a total cost of $11.3 million, thanks in part to the amount of background work undertaken by the recreation complex committee.
“The committee has done a lot of background work trying to determine what they’d like to see built and how they’d like to see it built,” Hardie said. “The project in terms of professional services should be at or slightly below the norm.”
Council accepted and approved the recommendation to proceed with the pre-construction phase of the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex, which Hardie said includes the final design, scheduling, and budget estimates.
“We’ll be coming back to council at some point after we’ve met with this company, along with the architects and engineers, and come up with an overall plan,” he said.
Hardie said pre-construction could last four to five months, ensuring the project qualifies for any provincial or federal funding that becomes available.
“We’ve always used that term ‘shovel ready,’ at this point we will be shovel ready,” Hardie said.
Mayor Julie Behrns said council continues to push for provincial assistance, recently approaching Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure with a delegation, and federal funding remains an option looking ahead.
“We’re very hopeful moving into a federal election that we will have the opportunity to meet with some of the federal ministers and see if we can secure some federal funding for this project,” Behrns said.
North Perth council has already agreed to $4 million of the project costs, and the recreation committee fundraiding campaign has reached $4.75 million of the $5 million goal. Behrns thanked the work of the committee members working tirelessly to ensure the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex is successful.
“We’ve had some very ambitious committee members who have worked diligently on our behalf, and the municipality is certainly thankful to all of the groups, but especially the building committee group,” Behrns said.