Loyalist Township provides update on Community Hub project

Community Hub Rendering May 2023. Image via Loyalist Township.

The development of the Community Hub at the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre in Amherstview continues to move forward, with Loyalist Township presenting Council with a validation report and business case for the project.

On Friday, May 19, 2023, the Township announced that Chandos Construction has been selected as the contractor for the development of the Community Hub, and will join Loyalist Township and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) to deliver the renewal of the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre using an integrated project delivery (IPD) model.

“Loyalist is pleased to welcome Chandos to the Community Hub project team. Chandos has extensive experience in building modern, energy-efficient, and accessible recreation facilities in communities across Canada,” stated Loyalist Township Mayor Jim Hegadorn. “This is a vital step as the Township proceeds toward validation.”

The IPD process involves several phases, the first of which is referred to as the Validation Phase. According to the Township, during this phase, the project team will advance the facility design and develop cost estimates for the construction and operation of the facility, which is expected to occur between May and August 2023. This information will be summarized in a validation report and business case, which will be presented to Council in Q3 of 2023 and will allow Council to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the project.

According to a release from Loyalist Township, Chandos specializes in collaborative projects and has been a champion of the Integrated Project Delivery model in Canada. The company has completed many recreation centre projects, from new builds to major renovations, the Township noted, including the Drayton Valley Aquatic Centre, a $23 million net-zero energy facility consisting of an eight-lane 25-metre pool and a leisure pool which was completed in February 2023.

“After working closely with Loyalist Township to engage with the community, advance the planning and secure funding we are delighted to now be moving forward on this exciting and innovative delivery path to revitalize the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre. The renewed space will be transformative for the life of the community,” stated Chris Burbidge, Principal with MJMA.

The use of IPD by municipalities is becoming increasingly prevalent when delivering large-scale infrastructure projects. For example, the City of Kingston successfully employed this method for the construction of the Waaban Crossing, which was completed last year both on budget and on schedule, the Township noted in a press release.

“Chandos Construction is thrilled to be collaborating with Loyalist Township and MJMA for the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre Renewal Project. As a company with a strong reputation in both pool recreation facility construction and IPD project delivery, we’re excited to bring best value outcomes to the community through our experience,” said Dominic Ries, Technical Solution Director with Chandos.

In December 2022, The Government of Canada announced an investment of more than $16.5 million in support of this Community Hub project through Infrastructure Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.

Following this funding announcement, Township staff and MJMA completed the first round of public engagement regarding the Community Hub in January 2023. Input from user groups and community members was presented to Council resulting in an update to the conceptual design.

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