Pickering to re-tender Heritage & Community project after all three bids way over budget

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Published August 31, 2023 at 10:28 am

Proposed Pickering Heritage & Community Centre

The City of Pickering is going back to the drawing board with the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre after all three pre-qualified construction bids came in too high for the planned facility, which will bring together a museum, library and community Centre into one place to celebrate the city’s rich history.

The pre-qualifying tender closed in February and the lowest of the three bids for the planned 44,000 sq. ft. building came in at $57.3 million (total cost $64.6 million), more than $20 million over the available budget for the project. The extra cost would need to be financed by debt and would translate into a 1.80 percent levy increase for the 2024 budget.

“Given the broad range of other financial priorities,” Pickering Operations Director Brian Duffield said in his report to the September 5 Special Council meeting, “staff do not recommend awarding the project at this price.”

Duffield will instead recommend to council that the City cancel the tender and work with consultant Hariri Pontarini Architects and Hanscomb Quantity Surveyors to reduce the project scope and related costs.

The project would then be re-tendered in time to secure new pricing prior to the approval of the 2024 Capital Budget.

Cancelling the project outright would cost Pickering $4 million in secured grant funding from the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund and $12.5 million in funding from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.

Providing the staff recommendation is approved September 5, additional fees for the work will be awarded to Hariri Pontarini Architects ($108,762.50) and Hanscomb Quantity Surveyors ($11,704). New archeological and Indigenous monitoring services on the site will also need be awarded to the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute to complete required Stage 4 archaeological work.

The Pickering Heritage & Community Centre will be located on the upper site of the Pickering Museum Village and will serve as a new Visitor’s Centre for the pioneer museum and replace the administrative building currently on site.

The facility, which will be the first new community centre in Pickering in more than 20 years, will also help preserve local history and provide much-needed storage space, with special environmental and lighting controls, for collections, artifacts and records for the Library, Pickering Museum Village, and City Hall.

It will replace the ageing Greenwood Community Centre and provide a modern and accessible space for community groups, programs and services, and events and exhibition space.

It will also be the City’s first net zero facility, featuring enhanced insulation, triple glazed windows, solar panels, air source heat pumps and other similar features.

The community-based green infrastructure will transform the Pickering Village Museum into a year-round destination offering a wide range of services and innovative community programs and will be home to the Pickering Library’s Local History Resource Centre and Branch Kiosk for the residents of north Pickering. Visitors will be able to visit the Exhibit Gallery, the Textile Workshop, enjoy the Gift Shop and Coffee Bar, and stroll along the pathway to Pickering Museum Village.

Construction was supposed to happen this summer and be completed by 2026, though it’s likely the timeline would now be moved to 2027.

Pickering Museum Village

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