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The community centre bids came in over budget – now what?

The lowest bid – from Golden Globe Construction Ltd. – put the project costs at $19.17 million
community centre revised layout
The revised community centre layout as of January 2021.

Bids for the community centre-municipal hall construction have come in a few million dollars over the project’s $14.5 million budget. 

The lowest bid – from Golden Globe Construction Ltd. – put the project costs at $19.17 million, said a Bowen Island Municipality press release Wednesday

“We’ve always been prepared for the real possibility of the bids coming in over budget,” said CAO Liam Edwards in the press release, “so we were very pleased to see bids that came within an acceptable range of the estimate.”

Now, the project management team is set to work with engineers and the construction firm over the next three months in a value engineering process – “reviewing costs line by line to identify elements that can be modified, removed or phased in over time, in order to reduce construction costs,” said the release. BIM is looking to value engineering, seeking more grant funding and fundraising to close the budget gap. 

The intention is not to go for additional borrowing, said Gillian Drake, BIM’s manager of recreation and community services. 

It wasn’t a surprise that the bids came in over budget, said Drake, and bids even came in lower than some expected. 

“The market’s actually changed quite considerably since that original project budget,” she said. “There’s been market cost escalations, materials and various other pieces.

“Now, we know what we’re working with. We know what the industry is saying this would cost,” said Drake. “We want to stay positive and see what we can do.”

The community centre project timeline presented to municipal council in January slated opening for summer 2023. “With that timeline, though, we would have started construction this fall,” said Drake. “There’s the possibility that it’s a little bit later.”

That being said, Golden Globe Construction said they could do the project in a 70-week timeline, said Drake. 

Bowen Islanders voted to borrow $4 million for the long-sought community amenity in a referendum last year and a federal-provincial grant is providing a further $7.9 million. The project has a further $2.5 million from community fundraising and reserves.