FROM THE FILES OF THE BRANDON SUN
The Valleyview recreation hub officially opened on Tuesday afternoon, after the final cost came in more than $400,000 over what was originally planned.
The new recreation hub includes a new spray park and a revamped skating rink.
Mayor Rick Chrest was on hand for the openings and said the project was something council wanted to see accelerated and moved up in up in the city’s planning.
“This is certainly one of the very active community centres in the city and the addition of the spray park really caps of a full transformation of the Valleyview Community Centre,” Chrest said.
The budget for the recreation hub ballooned when it was approved by Brandon City Council last year. According to an Aug. 18, 2018 Brandon Sun story, the city approved a $1,008,614 bid from Premier Commercial Builders to do the work. That bid was the lowest out of five options presented to city council at the time, despite an original cost estimate of $600,000 that was set aside.
Bryce Wilson, the city’s manager of parks operations, confirmed that the total cost of the project was approximately $1 million, $400,000 more than was originally projected in the city’s 2018 budget.
At the council meeting where the construction was approved, Wilson said the cost overrun could have been due to the work being completed at the height of the summer construction season and the fact that the $600,000 was based on the city’s 2007 Recreation Facilities Master Plan.
Coun. Shaun Cameron (University), who also co-chairs the community centre’s board, said he believed the cost was worth it after seeing the end result.
“I think looking at it today, any time we can invest in opportunities for family, opportunities for families, opportunities for youth in our community, it’s important,” Cameron said. “I realize that, yeah, at the end of the day the dollar value was higher than we maybe hoped, but we have to look at it as investment long term.”
Steve Mott, the other co-chair of the board, said the recreation hub is a good asset for the neighbourhood and helps build the community.
“It fills the community because people need a place to meet,” he said.”I think that pays off in the end.”
The skating rink was open last winter and Cameron said it was a popular facility, seeing 15-20 skaters daily.
The Valleyview recreation hub is the fifth to open as part of the city’s updated Recreation Facilities Master Plan. Hubs are already open in Stanley Park, Kin Park, Westridge and Rideau Park.
The provincial government also contributed $50,000 toward the cost. Brandon West Progressive Conservative MLA Reg Helwer said he was happy to see how the project turned out and the city used the money well.
“It’s great to see that this came together and I appreciate the city and city staff that worked to make sure we could come to successful fruition to what we see here today,” Helwer said. “It’s something that spent a little time in the planning and it went back and forth a little bit but we’re thrilled with how it turned out.”
The next recreation hub is slated to be built in Sir Winston Churchill Park, Wilson said, with the design set to happen next year and construction to begin in 2021.
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