Centralized Operations Campus recommended to deliver critical services as Guelph grows

Council to decide on business case on May 31

Read the report online

Guelph, Ont., April 22, 2021 – The City’s Operations Campus report, scheduled to go before Committee of the Whole on May 3, recommends a centralized campus of facilities that will house much of the infrastructure that supports critical services for the community, such as snow removal, solid waste collection, transit and fleet maintenance.

The campus would replace multiple facilities that are no longer big enough to support their operations and/or are in need of major repair, including those at 45 and 50 Municipal Street. The business case takes into account various sites and alternatives including rehabilitation and expansion of current facilities and new decentralized facilities, in addition to the consolidated campus. The driving factors for recommending a centralized campus are cost analysis of all options and meeting City growth targets, asset management plans and environmental sustainability goals.

“We explored several solutions. The in-depth business case supports the centralized campus option best based on cost and service efficiency, social benefits, and the opportunity to support the community into the future,” said Antti Vilkko, general manager of Facilities and Energy Management for the City.

Building a centralized Operations Campus would allow the City to:

  • Increase capacity for service demands as Guelph grows to 203,000 residents by 2051.
  • Enhance operational efficiency to meet today’s service delivery demands and for the future.
  • Electrify the transit fleet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate change goals set by Council and the City’s strategic plan.
  • Maximize City-owned land and align with the Guelph Innovation District (GID) Secondary Plan.

Funding the Operations Campus

The recommended centralized Operations Campus option is estimated to cost between $186–$228 million; $25 million less than the other two alternatives. Financing this project will not require new capital funding strategies. The City will use existing infrastructure renewal and growth capital funding strategies, leverage debt in line with the City’s Debt Management Policy and maximize grant revenue over 10–15 years as the site is built out.

“For the past five years, Council has been diligent in building the infrastructure renewal and growth funding levels to ensure we are prepared to renew or build assets when needed,” said Tara Baker, treasurer and general manager of Finance. “Our Corporate Asset Management Plan has identified many of these facilities as priorities; they will reach poor condition within five years and be in critical condition within 10 years, affecting our ability to deliver essential services to the community at our current service level.”

The project’s financial plan focuses on the responsible care of aging City assets. It accommodates growth and expansion of City services, and creates efficiencies between City departments that will save time and optimize costs in the long run.

“Our community is growing and this centralized campus, implemented over 10 years, will help us deliver on community expectations from their local government—efficient services, quality programs and value for their tax dollar,” added Vilkko.

Council will discuss the business case at the May 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, starting at 2 p.m., and make its final decision at the Council meeting on May 31, starting at 6 p.m.

Delegate to Council

Register to delegate

Residents wishing to delegate virtually at either the May 3 or May 31 meeting must register no later than the Friday before each meeting by 10 a.m.

Connections to Guelph. Future Ready.

The Operations Campus supports four key pillars in the City’s strategic plan, including sustaining our future, navigating our future, working together for our future and building our future.

Media contact

Stephen O’Brien, Acting Deputy CAO
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 5644
[email protected]