Council gets some update on Civic Plaza overruns

Synergy crews work on the extension to Civic Plaza on 100 Avenue. The $4 million renovation project is scheduled to be completed by mid-May. - File Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Council got some information on the status of an estimated $870,000 cost overrun on Morinville’s Civic Plaza Tuesday night after an absence of the subject on Council’s agenda prompted MorinvilleNews.com to raise the matter during the media’s opportunity to ask questions.

The Feb. 28 news from ONPA architect Rob Black that the project, originally projected to cost $2.5 million and raised to $3.5 million, had ballooned again to just under $4 million was not welcome news to Council.

Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Oyarzun told Council Mar. 27 they would receive something formal soon and that information will also be brought forward to the public.

“We’re going through documentation with a fine tooth comb,” Oyarzun said, noting she had met again with the architect last week to discuss the situation. “I must admit he does have bruises.”

Communication still seems to be an issue in the matter, and Oyarzun expressed her belief she felt they were not listening to her in some cases but feels she has made the Town’s point clear. “We are continuing to work with them,” she said. “They are remaining cooperative.”

Oyarzun said ONPA has committed publicly to coming in under $4 million and that she plans to hold them to that figure.

Chief Financial Officer Andy Isbister told Council he anticipates having dollar amounts finalized over the next couple weeks. He said final numbers are solidifying as even materials yet to be installed have now been ordered. Isbister explained some work, including exterior siding, will be done later in the spring when it is more cost effective to do the work.

What went wrong?

Oyarzun said when the project is closed; she plans to pursue what happened in process to get it in the position of overruns. She has been speaking with MHPM Project Managers, who the Town signed a contract with, to look at just where accountabilities lie.

The Town of Morinville is still anticipating being out of the Parish Hall location and into the new facility by mid-May.

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