Comox Valley Record

Lewis Centre expansion-addition under budget, close to schedule

WAYNE LIBOIRON, construction manager for the Lewis Centre renovation and expansion project, stands in the centre
WAYNE LIBOIRON, construction manager for the Lewis Centre renovation and expansion project, stands in the centre's addition as he points out these stairs going down to connect the addition to the original part of the building. The total elevation height difference is 1.3 metres between the two parts of the building, making the addition meet the City's new requirement for floodplain elevations.
— image credit: Renee Andor

The Lewis Centre expansion and renovation project is coming along under budget and very close to schedule, according to project manager Blair Pettis.

"We're in good shape on the budget," Pettis told Courtenay council during a report last week. "We're under budget at this point — we're looking at adding a bit of scope to the project to address some of the other issues (with the Lewis Centre)."

Pettis added the project is about a week behind schedule thanks to rainy weather in December.

"The roof structure and roof trusses in this project for the addition are all exposed … so the trusses were fairly sensitive to the rain," he explained.

"So we had a bit of a struggle in December finding three successive days in a row where we could get in with the trusses, lay them on the walls, get the roof decking down and then waterproof the roof decking, because the plywood on the underside is going to be visible so we don't want any water stains on that."

However, he added he expects crews can get the project back on schedule by making up some time during drywall installation in the 11,000-square-foot addition.

The addition is expected to be complete in late May. Renovation work on the original Lewis Centre building will then take off, with September or October the expected completion date for the entire project.

During a site visit, construction manager Wayne Liboiron pointed out stairs going down to the original Lewis Centre building from the addition, noting a 1.3-metre height difference between the elevations of two portions of the building.

Because the addition foundation has been raised 1.3 metres higher than the original building, it meets the City's new requirement for floodplain elevations in the area, said Liboiron.

The addition will feature a new 4,000-square-foot wellness centre, a new multi-purpose room with a sprung floor — making it ideal for fitness activities, new larger and fully accessible change rooms and a universal washroom large enough for scooters.

Renovation features will include: a new multi-purpose room with a kitchen area and storage; accessibility improvements; a seating area; a squash court upgrade and new squash court mezzanine as well as energy-efficient upgrades and improved heating and ventilation. The existing north entrance and hallway are being widened to reduce congestion.

The project is expected to cost $5.4 million, with $1 million coming from gas tax revenue through the federal Community Works Fund, $400,000 from the provincial Community Recreation Program, $200,000 from a City reserve fund and a maximum of $3.8 million to be borrowed by the City.

Courtenay staff are also pursuing other grants and funding opportunities in an effort to keep borrowing down.

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