Recreation facility remains a priority to support growing south end
Guelph, Ont., February 23, 2023 – At the March 7 Committee of the Whole, City staff will update Council on a recommended path forward for the construction of the South End Community Centre (SECC).
A report released by staff includes updates on the design, construction timelines, and budget without altering the facilities amenities and environmental sustainability targets. Staff recommends an additional budget of $35.5 million for the project, bringing the total cost of the SECC construction to $115.5 million. The additional budget will primarily be funded from development charges, consistent with the current approved funding already in place leaving approximately $1.8 million to be funded by taxation.
In late 2022, the province released several changes that will impact how and when the City collects development charges and as part of the City’s 2023 budget, the financial impacts of these changes have started to be phased in. The funding of specific projects by development charges is separate and distinct from the financial impacts related to the collection of development charges city-wide.
“We know that access to recreational facilities and programs is a vital part of a healthy community and that facilities to support this are much needed in the south end of Guelph,” says Jayne Holmes, the City’s deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “Given the pressures of inflation, we changed the project delivery model to construction management to help identify cost savings while maintaining the amenities our community needs and delivering on our Race to Zero commitments.”
Inflationary pressures have increased project costs to build the SECC at a rate of almost $1 million per month over the past year—a year-over-year inflation rate of 10 per cent. These pressures have resulted in the increasing cost to build the SECC originally budgeted and approved in 2020 at $80 million.
If approved by Council, construction could begin as soon as this fall and be ready to open in late 2026.
City working to manage inflation impacts across all capital projects
In April 2022, in response to the high rate of inflation across the globe over the past three years, Council delegated authority to staff to prioritize capital projects within the approved budget up to the end of 2023.
The results of this prioritization exercise where $39 million in spending was deferred to future years were reported to Council through the 2023 Budget Confirmation process; however, it was noted that expected costs for the South End Community Centre project had not yet been finalized and would be addressed through a separate recommendation to Council.
About the South End Community Centre
Although the concept for the SECC has been in the works since the early 2000s, the construction was originally approved under report IDE 2020-141 South End Community Centre Project Update in October 2020 with a budget of $80 million. The centre included twin ice pads, an aquatic centre with a lap and teaching pool, double gymnasium, walking track, warm up area and multi-purpose rooms. Construction of the SECC aligns with the “Building our future” strategic pillar of the City’s strategic plan, Guelph. Future Ready., as it supports growth in Guelph.
Jayne Holmes, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Infrastructure Development Enterprise
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248