Cost estimate for Sylvan Lake Multiplex soars by $3 million

Architects will be sharpening their pencils to bring down the cost of Sylvan Lake’s proposed multiplex.

Architects will be sharpening their pencils to bring down the cost of Sylvan Lake’s proposed multiplex.

The most recent cost estimate for the 91,000-square-foot facility to be known as the NexSource Centre is $32 million, up $3 million over an earlier $29 million estimate. That is itself $3 million more than an initial target construction cost of $24 million.

Inflation fuelled by a hotter construction market is the main reason behind the cost increases, says a report that went to council on Monday.

Mayor Sean McIntyre said on Tuesday that council has asked its architects to take a hard look at designs to find ways to reduce the cost of the preliminary design.

“Also we’re going through a process called value engineering, which is a process used a lot in the private sector to try to make sure we’re getting the best value for dollar on the materials used and the designs rendered for any project,” said McIntyre.

Among the options will be to trim 10,000 square feet from the facility. The centre is to include an arena, curling rink, seniors centre, children’s play area and other civic spaces.

Council approved a $29-million budget for the project in July and that number stands, said the mayor.

“At this point, we’re working on meeting our design with our budget,” he said. “Certainly, there was no appetite to increase the budget at (Monday’s) council meeting.”

The town will borrow $13 million to help pay for the facility. Boosting the budget, without finding other funding sources, would mean bumping up borrowing to $16 million.

Borrowing more could limit the town’s flexibility to fund other needs in the future, he said.

No timeline has been set for updated project designs, but McIntyre expects it will not take long.

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