Foundation done, framing begins for Courtenay rec centre expansion

After months of site preparation, the foundation for the 11,000-square-foot Lewis Centre expansion is now in place.

Wayne Liboiron of Knappett Projects looks over the construction drawings for the Lewis Centre expansion.

Wayne Liboiron of Knappett Projects looks over the construction drawings for the Lewis Centre expansion.

After months of site preparation, the foundation for the 11,000-square-foot Lewis Centre expansion is now in place.

With framing now started, the building is beginning to take shape.

“So far things have progressed smoothly,” said Randy Wiwchar, the City’s director of community services. “We’re on schedule and looking forward to seeing the walls going up.”

The foundation and framing is being done by local firm Muchalat Projects. The expansion will include a new wellness centre and multi-purpose room, as well as new change rooms, showers and an accessible washroom. Knappett Projects is the construction manager for the project.

While crews are working to minimize the impact of construction on the public, some work will require Lewis Centre patrons to temporarily make a small detour to access the facility. Workers will dig a trench along the north side of the building to lay new power and data communication cables.

“We’ll be getting people to walk through a safety corridor at the north entrance on their way into the building while they dig the trench, and we’ll also need to block off the laneway and parking directly in front of the Lewis Centre, along the Old Island Highway,” noted Wiwchar. “While we don’t have the date set yet, this will just be a short-term inconvenience, likely lasting one day.”

While the framing has just begun, project staff are working ahead on details such as finishing materials, trim colours, lighting, and equipment.

“As you can imagine, with a big project like this we need to be working on many issues simultaneously,” stated Wiwchar. “Finalizing each detail well in advance will save money and time as construction advances.”

The Lewis Centre expansion is estimated to be complete in May 2013, to be followed by renovations of portions of the existing building until September 2013.

Funding assistance to help reduce borrowing costs for the $5.4-million project has been committed from a variety of sources, including $1 million from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, as well as a $400,000 Community Recreation Grant from the Province of B.C. The City is actively pursuing other funding opportunities.

— City of Courtenay

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