Council chambers was packed with Chilliwack curlers on Tuesday afternoon at city hall.
They came to witness a historic vote by council to approve the proposal for the brand-new Chilliwack Curling & Community Centre.
“It’s a beautiful moment,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.
The project proposal submitted by preferred proponent, Preview Builders International, is moving forward with a pricetag of $10,870,324.
The Chilliwack Curling Club has about 650 members, noted Mayor Gaetz.
“So it’s a big part of our community, and it’s growing,” she said.
Council was “disappointed” to discover that increased costs brought the project total to $10.8 million, up from about $7 million a few years ago. Changes like the falling loonie, the rising price of steel, and increased costs to meet seismic standards had an impact on the curling rink project costs.
“Some of those costs were out of our control,” Gaetz said.
But the community facility won’t be limited to curling. The new building will host minor sporting events, trade shows, weddings and other community events, and will “become a cornerstone for the growing curling fraternity,” according to the staff report.
Coun. Chris Kloot acknowledged the “phenomenal” job done by the curling club to date.
“The increased demand for these type of spaces will justify the increased costs,” he said.
Preview Builders Inc. submitted the “lowest Adjusted Proposal Price” and was identified as having “the proposal most advantageous to the City,” according to the staff report.
The existing curling rink is more than 60 years old, and at the end of its life span given the expensive maintenance costs.
The Curling Club has operated for all that time without any operating funds from the city, and Mayor Gaetz called the club’s efforts “remarkable.”
But the curling club was slated for replacement, and funds were earmarked for it in the 10-year financial plan for this purpose over the past several years. Most of the funding is coming from gas tax revenues, with the remainder from city reserves.
The site is part of the entire square block owned by City of Chilliwack, known as “The Landing” bounded by Hodgins, Ashwell, Spadina and Corbould.
After City of Chilliwack issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the new rink, three project proponents were shortlisted:
1. Preview Builders International Inc.;
2. Ventana Construction Corporation ; and
3. n.Wallace & Company Ltd.
The third proponent, n.Wallace & Company, did not submit a proposal, and therefore was not ultimately considered.
Substantial completion is expected by July 2018.