Public invited to information session for West Parry Sound Recreation and Cultural Centre 

West Parry Sound Recreation and Cultural Centre (WPSRCC) project leads are hosting a public information session on December 12 at the Stockey Centre to update the community about the facility’s design and programming.

Date:  Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Time: 4:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.

Location: Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts
2 Bay St., Parry Sound

About: The public is encouraged to drop-in to meet project leads, who will be available to review the design, floor plans, programming options and answer questions about the facility’s design, progress to date and future milestones. Representatives from CS&P Architects, Ball Construction, Gordon + Gordon Group, the YMCA, the WPSRCC Board, Steering Committee, and Fundraising Team will also be in attendance.

3 Comments

  1. Sonya McEwen

    Hi Everyone! Really excited to see this moving forward! I just had a look at the architect plans and was wondering about spectator seating for the aquatics area. Currently, we travel to Barrie for pool use and the East Bayfield Rec Centre has stands for spectator seating that overlook both pools. It’s great for swimming lessons and competitive events! In the drawings for PS, it looks as though the only viewing area is through glass at the smaller pool end. Is that something that can be discussed? Thank you!!

  2. Niall Bracken

    I will be very excited if you can deliver this project for $32Million. However, I think it’s time to tell the taxpayers in the surrounding communities exactly what the facility is projected to cost, net of the contingent funds required to have 6 lanes pool
    So please provide the total projected cost of ownershipto build this facility, as well as the ongoing operational costs. Also please share the projected burden on the taxpayers in their respective communities, based on your weighting model. I look forward to seeing these costs disclosed at the upcoming December 12 open house at the Stockey Centre……
    Cheers

  3. Robin Plumb

    In response to Mr. Bracken above, the most recent construction cost estimate from the project manager was $36.8MM, which was classified as a “Class C” estimate, meaning it could be 50% higher ($54MM).

    One of the Board’s Steering Committee members put the annual operating deficit at $700K prior to going to a six-lane pool which adds another $150K per year by their own estimate and a recent consulting study put the annual reserve fund requirement at $640K per year. The Board agreed in 2022 to pay the Town of PS $250K per year for administrative services. The Board agreement requires another $350K per year to fund additions to the site.

    Annual financing costs will be at least $900K if the project were to cost $32MM (which the Board now knows is not possible and acknowledged has increased by 35-45%–in the Feb/2023 Board meeting). The likelihood of raising $10MM in donations as promised by Seguin mayor Ann MacDiarmid is very slim especially since they are competing with the new Friendship Centre (which is apparently targeting $20-30MM in donations and is also slated to get underway next year). As at August 31, according to the Board’s financial statement, only $4,500 in net funding had been raised with the majority coming from funds raised over 10 years ago.

    So the total annual funding requirement according to the Board’s own numbers will be at least $3MM. However, their estimates of membership revenues are significantly overstated (as indicated by the consultant, BDO) while operating costs are significantly understated, meaning the operating deficit will likely be another $1MM a year. In addition, any capital costs above $32MM will also need to be funded by debt. So at say $43MM (which could actually be $54MM according to their own project manager), the annual financing costs would be another $1MM. So the minimum most likely annual cost will be about $5MM (requiring the Town of PS to raise taxes by 11% and the other municipalities to raise their taxes by 6-10%).

    So if the area municipalities and their residents consider this to be a good use of 6-11% of their annual tax budget, the Board had better get on top of the very real possibility that the project will become insolvent at some point during construction and most certainly once it opens (if that happens).

    There is presently insufficient funding in place or contractually committed. The funding commitments of the municipalities are limited under the Board agreement to $32MM in capital and $350K per year in operating deficits, and $350K per year for site additions. The Board has known for at least a year now that the capital and operating deficit limits will be exceeded and should have approached the partner municipalities long ago to increase those. If they continue to engage contractors, buy land, and move forward without locking down the additional funding commitments, then the project will become insolvent, leaving us with a partially completed structure.

    McKellar recently passed a resolution to state that it will not agree to increasing those limits and that it wishes to leave the Board. Whitestone refused to accept a cursory study under a side agreement and will withhold its contingent $250K capital donation to the project. There can be no assurance that the other municipalities will fill the gap until they are asked to do so.

    The Board needs to answer this question: how can it prudently and responsibly continue the Project in its present form knowing that it does not have sufficient funding in place to fulfill its commitments to all of the many contractors being engaged (as well as to the vendor of the new site)? That would seem to be exposing the municipalities and their representatives to a fair amount of liability as potential damages mount.

    When will the Board approach the municipalities to amend the funding limits in the agreement? They are playing with fire if they fail to do it soon.

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