Cost of new MODL municipal service building rises

by Charles Mandel

  • <p>File photo</p><p>An artist&#8217;s rendition of MODL&#8217;s new municipal service building.</p>

The new municipal services building is now expected to cost $8.7-million, up from the original estimate of $7.6 million. The revised figure came out at a special council meeting of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) June 5.

"We were hoping to see the Phase 2 Construction cost come in around $5.5 million, but the lowest bidder was $6.6 million," Mayor Carolyn-Bolivar Getson, explained in a release.

"This is due to a large discrepancy in the estimates for three trades - specifically millwork, mechanical and electrical. We plan to work with Roscoe Construction to see what can be done to decrease those costs and bring the total project cost closer to the initial estimate."

Roscoe Construction was awarded the tender to build the new structure at the council meeting.

The original estimate amount of $7.6 million will be drawn from reserves. Council directed staff to find the additional $1.1 million from savings on other capital projects. This will ensure the municipality's 2019/2020 capital budget will remain at the approved $14,576,200.

The municipality will not incur debtor raise taxes to construct the new building and continues to be on track to be debt-free by 2021.

The current building, located at 210 Aberdeen Road, does not meet National Building Code or Nova Scotia's Accessibility Act. Space, air quality and security issues are some of the primary deficiencies with the existing building.

A report produced by Catalyst Consulting determined that it would be more expensive to renovate and expand the existing building to meet accessibility, space and code requirements than it would be to invest in a new building.

The initial budget estimate for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 was set at a total construction cost of $7.2 million, with a revision based on design changes to $7.6 million.

The three bids received on the Phase 2 Building Construction package were higher than budgeted, and the total construction cost for both Phase 1 and 2 is now expected to be $8.7 million.

The building will be located on municipally-owned land at Osprey Village, and the design of the building was developed to use as many locally-sourced materials and tradespeople as possible, and to achieve an energy use that is 30 per cent less than National Building Code requirements.

In addition to being fully accessible, the design of the building will enable the municipality to offer improved service for the thousands of residents who utilize the building each year.

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