By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
After months of toiling with the numbers and dealing with a multitude of obstacles involved in refitting an older building, the city announced the $25-million consolidated operations depot project could come in over budget.
At the meeting of the community services committee on April 16, Mark Robinson, the city’s director of facilities management, says the project is expected to come in approximately $200,000 over budget.
“It’s too early to say exactly where it will come,” Robinson told the committee.
Many of the additional costs are attributed to change orders for work that have cropped up as the renovation has continued.
Larger costs came in the form of having to increase the size of the originally planned men’s change rooms. That change came with a $210,000 price tag.
A change order for $199,943 was approved for office furniture, $115,000 was used to fix grading on the site when soil was found to be unsuitable and $134,660 was spent on a fuel management system.
Another big ticket item still to come – which is projected to be in the $200,000 range – is framing on the curtain wall, which was found to be leaking.
Through Freedom of Information requests, The Oshawa Express obtained a summary of the change orders, which total more than 80. However, according to Robinson, that number is closer to 154.
Robinson says many of the change orders are byproducts of repurposing the older facility and, even with the initial inspection, could not have been detected until construction began as the inspection only judges what can be visibly seen.
“It’s the nature of the beast,” he tells The Express.
According to Robinson, the project remains on schedule, despite delays from the frigid winter temperatures. Most recently, high winds knocked over a wooden wall of the salt brine building currently under construction.
For Councillor Bob Chapman, this over-budget projection is good on such a large-scale project.
“On a $25-million project…that variance, at this stage, is pretty good planning of course,” he told the committee.
Despite the projection, Robinson says staff will remain diligent in trying to bring that number back down.
“We’re looking at every opportunity to bring it under,” he says.