Sunday, December 4, 2016

Groundbreaking Another Milestone in Pelham's Progress

(L-R): Ralph Beamer, former-Mayor; Councillor Richard Rybiak;
Councillor Gary Accursi; Councillor Catherine King; 
Mayor Dave Augustyn; Councillor John Durley; Councillor Peter Papp; 
Darren Ottaway, CAO; John Nicol, Chair, Architectural Design Advisory 
Committee; Bill Gibson, Chair, Oversight Committee. (30 Nov. 2016)
Along with representatives of the Architectural Design Advisory Committee (ADAC), the Oversight Committee, former Mayor Beamer, Town Councillors and the CAO, I had the honour of ceremoniously breaking ground for the Pelham Community Centre last week. While members of ADAC, the Oversight Committee, Pelham sport and recreational associations, local service clubs, Town Staff, and the general public cheered on, we broke ground and threw some soil from “center ice” of Arena A.

As you know, since 1990 the community has consistently voiced a desire for new recreational facilities. In late-2012, when Council reviewed the seven consultant studies and staff reports, we confirmed that “no significant or meaningful financial work was completed.”

That’s why in 2013 the Town hired LeisurePlan to survey you and your neighbours about your needs, to test the business case for various amenities, and to develop an operating pro forma to satisfy those needs. In 2014 and 15, LeisurePlan presented a number of reports demonstrating sustaining-demand for a Community Centre and recommending that the Town construct a facility in the East Fonthill development area.

So, in August 2014, Council established an Architectural Design Advisory Committee with 15 volunteers representing various recreational user groups, youth, seniors, artists, service clubs and the community-at-large; by October, Council hired Petroff Architects to professionally design the facility.

During 2015, ADAC worked tirelessly with the architect, LeisurePlan, and Staff to develop concept drawings and presented a design. In the Fall of 2015, the Town hired Ball Construction as a construction manager to refine the design with all involved.

In mid-March 2016, Council received the final designs from the architect, detailed construction estimates from the construction manager, and financing options from Staff for the new Centre. The Town immediately started five weeks of community engagement on the proposal.

Encouraged by the community support and because of our years of due diligence and community involvement, Council approved the new Community Centre in late-April 2016.

During the summer and fall, Council approved a maximum-price construction contract, and established an Oversight Committee to ensure the facility gets built on-time (by last-spring 2018) and on-budget ($36.2 million).

I deeply appreciate all those involved – over many years – in developing the new Pelham Community Centre; the iterative yet important process has been a genuine community and grassroots endeavor!

The groundbreaking last week shows that by working together we can achieve great things and can continue to transform and improve our community.

I will keep you updated about Pelham’s Community Centre – the facility that will serve for decades as our community’s gathering place and recreational space for people of all ages and abilities.