Council approves more than $13 million for Albion Community Centre

Work on new Maple Ridge facility to begin in August

City council has approved the second phase of construction for the new Albion Community Centre, at a price of over $13 million.

During its July 28 online meeting, council awarded the contract to Double V Construction for $13,070,000 excluding taxes, and also approved a contingency of $1.3 million. It is on the same site as a new elementary school in the neighbourhood.

“The co-location of this new Community Centre with the c’usqunela elementary school is a model of collaboration between the province, school district and the City of Maple Ridge,” said Mayor Mike Morden. “Working together, this final addition to the site will create a social hub for the fast growing Albion neighbourhood.”

READ ALSO: Work to start on Albion Community Centre next week

“It is important to build complete neighbourhoods as we grow, which is at the core of council’s strategic priority around growth. This site will be active from ‘dawn to dusk,’ which was a theme that rose from early on in the community consultation process for this project. Our council is very proud to make that dream a reality.”

Coun. Gordy Robson said the early budget estimates pegged the project at $10 million, but as the plan proceeded, costs for both phases have soared to an estimated $18 million.

He said the site preparation cost the city more than expected, and cost approximately $5 million. Council approved that work in December 2018.

“We had to move a million and a half dollars worth of dirt,” said Robson, and added the city should explore more efficient ways of designing and building projects.

“Everything we do tends to cost a lot of money,” he said.

Part of the city’s investment in this new community centre is offset by two grants: $1 million through the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, and $1 million through the Community Childcare Space Creation Program’ to create new licensed daycare spaces within local government facilities.

The facility will be operated by the city, and will be a hybrid of direct service and partnership programming including arts, community building and leadership along with wellness and fitness classes.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge’s new c’usqunela elementary is easy to say

The co-location of the site with the c’usqunela elementary school enables the city and school district to work together to create a “vibrant facility that fulfills council’s vision of community engagement and resiliency for the Albion neighbourhood,” said a city press release. This collaboration, supported by senior government grants, will see a full spectrum of childcare available on this site from infant to school age to support working families.

With the approval of the contract, construction is expected to commence in August of 2020 with a projected completion in late 2021.

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