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Snug Cove House project won't be moving ahead

A new construction cost estimate has put the Bowen seniors housing centre out of reach indefinitely
An artistic vision of Snug Cove House upon completion.

With much regret, the board of directors of Snug Cove House Society has to inform fellow Islanders that its effort to create a supportive residence for island seniors has failed, at least for the foreseeable future.

The just completed sub-contractors’ tender process put the total cost of construction at $22.2 million, a full $4.2 million higher than the $18 million Class C estimate of just a year ago. That estimate was prepared by an experienced and reputable general contractor and was expected to hold firm.

It had already calculated for continuing inflation and the higher costs of building on an island. But it did not include a dramatic rise in heating and cooling equipment prices and earth-moving costs, and did not predict current conditions for island work. The construction industry is working close to capacity at the moment, and lower mainland suppliers are uninterested in the risks of sending their skilled labour to an island with erratic ferry service.

The Society cannot hope to raise anything close to $4.2 million, and it’s clear that there’s no opportunity for viable and meaningful cost-cutting measures. It is assessing next steps.

Meanwhile it must surrender the $12.2 million mortgage it had secured, and not ask the 178 island households and institutions that pledged $339,475 to turn their promises into actual donations.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your wonderfully generous intentions. (And Cates Pharmacy for so patiently handling the pledge forms.) And thanks to our municipality for the support and staff expertise it has dedicated to the cause over the years.

- With gratitude, the board of directors of Snug Cove House Society

Martine Sampath, Pernille Nielsen, Cindy Macleod, Graham Ritchie, Rev. Lorraine Ashdown, Holly Mackintosh, Andy Powell-Williams, Sheilagh Sparks

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