South Bowmanville Rec Centre re-development put on hold after construction estimates double

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Published March 17, 2023 at 4:14 pm

Rising construction costs that have already more than doubled project estimates have forced Clarington to put plans to expand the South Bowmanville Recreation Centre on hold.

The pandemic, supply chain issues and skyrocketing material costs share the blame for the shelving of the project, which is already downsized from its first iteration.

Council budgeted $61 million for the Clarington Fields project last year (plus $4.2 million for planning & design) but costs have now ballooned to an estimated $134 million.

Ground-breaking for Clarington’s largest new capital investment, which will include a twin-pad arena, a 25-metre pool, gym and walking track built around the existing Bowmanville Indoor Soccer facility, was supposed to happen his fall with a two-year build schedule.

Bowmanville Indoor Soccer Facility

“It’s unfortunate this vital piece of infrastructure is being delayed,” said Ward 2 Councillor Lloyd Rang at a recent Joint Committees meeting.

Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster praised staff for looking at other financing options, including bringing in the private sector, but agreed it would be “difficult” to give the green light to the project today, “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

Foster did take on some blame for not getting the re-development of the facility, which originally contained a library component, off the ground in the last term of council, saying the current Council should “learn from our mistakes.”

For now, Council has asked staff to create a plan for a new outdoor refrigerated skating surface (trail and/or pad), not to cost more than $20 million of the funds earmarked for the South Bowmanville Recreation Centre. The location of the new rink is still to be identified.

The South Bowmanville Recreation Centre project will be paused until the Clarington Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plans are completed to help determine what should be built based on the financial constraints.

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