Edmonton City Council approves $321M budget for Lewis Estates rec centre

Schematic designs for the proposed Lewis Estates rec centre in west Edmonton. Courtesy: City of Edmonton

Edmonton City Council has approved the $321-million budget for the new Lewis Estates rec centre.

“The money is released and we are good to go. We still have more work to do before we break ground, but the rec centre is now funded,” Councillor Andrew Knack said following Tuesday’s approval.

READ MORE: Lewis Estates rec centre could be delayed: report

Funding for the project has been held up since last November, until some cost-saving measures could be approved. The rec centre grew in scope when west-end residents pushed to have a 53-metre pool and dive tank included in the facility.

“When that program element was added, the square footage of the facility increased significantly,” deputy city manager Adam Laughlin said.

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Watch below: (From November 2018) Final designs for a proposed Lewis Farms rec centre in deep west Edmonton will be unveiled Tuesday. But the reveal comes during the final stages of city budget deliberations. Vinesh Pratap reports. 

Click to play video: 'Final design for Lewis Farms rec centre revealed Tuesday' Final design for Lewis Farms rec centre revealed Tuesday
Final design for Lewis Farms rec centre revealed Tuesday – Nov 12, 2018

The funding approval comes with a $55-million contingency built in, Laughlin said, in part because of the soil conditions where it’ll be built.

“Generally speaking, the site has some geo-technical issues that have added to the project complexity. So we carry a risk contingency to accommodate that.”

READ MORE: West Edmonton task force forms to fight for Lewis Estates rec centre

The project will now move into the planning and design phase. Final detailed planning will be done this year with PCL Construction as a consultant to give the project a second set of eyes in hopes of keeping costs down.

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The project will go out to tender in 2020.

“PCL did bid in a competitive environment so they could take a look at it, take it apart, see what value they could deliver in hopes they’ll have the leg up on the next round?” Councillor Mike Nickel questioned, to which Laughlin responded: “that’s correct.”

After a contractor is secured, construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 with the rec centre opening in 2025.

With files from Scott Johnston, Global News.

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