Oshawa sticks with original plan after revised community centre proposal balloons by $88 million

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Published June 27, 2023 at 10:25 am

An expanded wish list for the future Northwest Oshawa Community Centre that would increase the cost of the complex by nearly $90 million was called “unaffordable and unattainable” and unanimously voted down by Oshawa Council Monday.

Council instead approved the original plan for the community centre proposed for Thornton Road North and the future Britannia Avenue West, a project that is expected to include a library and seniors centre, a six-lane swimming pool, gym and fitness room, indoor activity rooms and outdoor amenities, including splash pads, a playground, trails and a sports field.

The estimated price tag is $162 million and has a completion date of mid-2026.

A Component Analysis, performed between January and March of this year by Monteith Brown Planning Consultants and MJMA Architecture & Design, expanded on that list to bump the lanes in the pool to eight, the single gym to a triple gymnasium, adding a 500-capacity community hall and a FIFA-regulation synthetic indoor surface in a fieldhouse or dome.

The new components would hike the price tag to $250 million or more and put in jeopardy the 2026 timeline, which staff noted in its own report would make the City non-compliant for some of the outside funding that is contingent on the project being “substantially completed” by March 2026.

Oshawa Councillor Brian Nicholson was blunt in his assessment of the revised option, which was turned down by an 8-0 vote. “This is unaffordable and unattainable.”

The new community centre, which will serve the city’s rapidly growing north-central and north-west communities, will be a multi-use, multi-generational and multi-seasonal destination, regardless of its final design.

For more information on the proposed project in northwest Oshawa, the first major community centre in the city in nearly 20 years, and the consultant’s report, see Northwest Oshawa Community Centre.

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