Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions we are asked most often:
- Who are the members of the Regional Recreation Centre Steering Committee?
- Who do we contact if we have comments or questions?
- Who will oversee the fundraising for this project?
- Will the Coliseum be accessible during the construction of the new Recreation Centre?
- What will the City do with the Coliseum?
- Will there be other features added to Victoria Park over the years?
- What is the Project budget?
- How is the Project to be funded?
- What is the Georgian Bay Energy (GBE) Fund, and what is it used for?
- How will property taxes be affected if the senior levels of government do not provide any funding after March 2011?
- Is the building designed to allow for the installation of solar panels on the roof?
- Why aren’t there two shifts being used during the summer months to speed up the completion of the Centre?
- What are the environmentally friendly and energy efficient features of the Centre?
- Will there be local employment or business opportunities with the project?
- How can I get an opportunity to work on this project or to provide services?
- Can other functions be incorporated into the new Regional Recreation Centre?
- Will there be a canteen at the new facility?
- What is the City’s relationship with the Family Y?
- How many spectators can the arenas hold?
- Why are we building two rinks?
- Will there be seating in the new aquatic centre for competitions?
- Will the new pool be competition size?
- When was it discovered that the site had soil and groundwater concerns?
- Did the Committee and Council consider other building sites?
- I’m already paying federal, provincial and municipal taxes, so why am I also being asked to give to the project to finance this centre?
- How can the City afford to pay for its share of the Regional Recreation Centre and also finance the 9th Street bridge and a Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plan costing over $60 million?
- Why do we need a new Family Y when we already have many other public and private fitness centres in the region?
- If the Regional Recreation Centre is being built with my tax money why will I have to buy a Y membership to access the Health Fitness Recreation Centre facilities?
- What if I, or my family, cannot afford a Y membership?
- Do all members of Council support the Regional Recreation Centre (RRC) and accept the financial risk involved?
- What is this new Regional Recreation Centre going to do for the community? What are the benefits that we can expect?
- Why aren't the surrounding municipalities contributing to the cost of the Regional Recreation Centre since many of their residents will be using it?
- Will my Family Y membership fees go up?
- Where can we find information on the project as it progresses?
- How are the senior’s being accommodated?
- David Adair, City Councillor
- Brian Dean, Vice President, Family Y Board of Directors
- Evelyn Dean, President, Family Y Board of Directors
- Ruth Lovell Stanners, Mayor, City of Owen Sound
- Chairman: Jim McManaman, City Councillor
- Tom Pink, City Councillor
- Francis Richardson, Mayor, Municipality of Meaford
- Ryan Thompson, Councillor, Township of Georgian Bluffs
- Bill Twaddle, City Councillor
- Michael Warren, Family Y Board of Directors Appointee
- Architects - Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will
- Project Architect - Phil Fenech
- Construction Manager - Aquicon Construction Company Limited
- Project Coordinator - Joseph Aquino
- City Project Manager, Brad McRoberts
City Manager's Department, 2nd Floor, City Hall
808 2nd Avenue East Owen Sound, ON N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-4440, ext. 1211
Executive Assistant & Public Relations Coordinator – Sharon Edwards email@example.com
The Family Y Board of Directors in conjunction with a volunteer fundraising committee and professional counsel from Ketchum Canada Inc.
Family Y Board of Directors:
• Evelyn Dean – President
• Brian Dean – Vice President
• Doug Bierer – Vice President/Treasurer
• Mark Avery
• Mark Cruikshank
• Bill Ringel
• Marie Martin
• Ruth Barwell
• Mary Hewitt
• Rod Moore
• John Rossitter
• Stephanie Fowler
• Susan Natsheh
• David Johnstone
Volunteer Fundraising Committee Members:
• Tom Rice - Campaign Co-Chair
• Sonya Mount - Campaign Co-Chair
• Michael Warren - Honorary Chair
• Elizabeth Warren - Honorary Chair
• Jim Algie
• Jan Chamberlain
• Evelyn Dean
• Brian Johnson
• Dennis Morrison
• Denise Reid
• Judy Robinson
• Carol Smith
• Jeff Sziklai
• Bill Van Wyck
• Gayle Graham
It will be business as usual at the Coliseum, although parking may be reduced to facilitate construction access. The ice surface will remain open until the new ice surface at the Regional Recreation Centre is operational.
The City may entertain proposals from groups interested in using this facility for recreational purposes, providing the City is not expected to assume capital or operational costs. Otherwise, the City intends to demolish the structure, as the arena requires a new ice refrigeration system and floor, and will not be functional without these.
We consider Victoria Park to be a recreational campus and there could be additional features in the future. The City is currently initiating a master planning process for Victoria Park and will consult with the Agricultural Society, St. Mary’s High School, The Family Y, other users, and the general public during this process.
The budget for the project is $38.645 million. Every effort is being made to ensure that the Centre comes in on budget. Value engineering is being applied as the construction proceeds to reduce costs wherever possible without impacting the functionality of the Centre. The tendering process includes negotiations with successful bidders to keep costs to a minimum. Both the Architect Team and the Construction Manager work closely with the City, Family Y, Joint Management Committee and the Steering Committee to find savings and control costs.
The funding is expected to come one third from the province and one third from the federal government. The remaining third will come from a variety of sources including the City, the Family Y capital and community fundraising, and neighbouring municipalities. For less than the cost of replacing the aging one rink Coliseum (approximately $10 million) the City will get two new rinks and an expanded, modern Health and Fitness Centre - the latter run by the Family Y.
The City’s contribution will be funded through the interest on the investment of the $16 million in proceeds from the sale of the Georgian Bay Energy (GBE).
The GBE Fund was created when the assets of Georgian Bay Energy, a publicly owned utility, were sold to Hydro One. The proceeds from the sale were invested and Council has committed to preserve the capital of this investment and use the interest to help fund large legacy projects such as the Regional Recreation Centre. These funds were previously allocated to projects such as the “Big Dig” and the Owen Sound Police Services building.
Earlier this year the City estimated that if the federal and provincial governments do not provide full funding the additional costs could result in a local tax increase of approximately 3 percent. However, for a growing number of reasons it seems likely that there will be little or no local tax impact:
- The City’s $9.4 million share of this $38.6 million project is being funded entirely from interest on the sale of the former Georgian Bay Energy (GBE) utility – not from the tax base. The City also has the ability to finance any funding shortfall by using this same income stream for a longer period of time.
- Once built, the Family Y will be responsible for financing their own programs and managing their area of the building without any subsidies from the City.
- At the August premier’s conference in Winnipeg, Dalton McGuinty said it would be a “mistake” for the province and Ottawa to shut off funding after March 2011 for projects underway.
- He repeated his support for extended funding at the mid-August annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in Windsor. There McGuinty said, “On April 1 we can’t walk away from projects that are four walls waiting for a roof.” His financial support will also help to trigger full federal funding. The result could considerably reduce the risk of any local tax increase.
- In Ottawa the Liberals and NDP are strong advocates for funding after March 2011. The finance minister has talked about ending funding after the deadline. However, Prime Minister Harper, while keeping the pressure on to complete projects, has never said that there will be no funding for existing projects after the deadline. On September 9, 2010, when pressed on the issue at a press conference in Saskatchewan, Prime Minister Harper stated “We are not going to be unreasonable...” As recently as Monday, September 27, 2010, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said “that the federal government will be ‘fair and reasonable’ at the end of March if stimulus projects are nearing completion but not finished.”
- Conservative MP Larry Miller acknowledged in an August 12, 2010, Sun Times article that the City has some “very good points”… “At the proper time, we’re going to do what we can to get an extension for them.” More recently he said that residents should focus on the “positives” of the project and “stop worrying about missing the deadline”.
- Conservative MPP Bill Murdoch said in an August 31, 2010, article in the Sun Times that it would be “foolish” for Ottawa to cut off funding for the Centre after March of next year.” All it would do is put municipalities in debt and there is only one taxpayer”.
- Owen Sound is not alone. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer there are about 1,000 other projects across Canada that are currently behind schedule and will not be completed by March 2011. These projects are providing thousands of jobs and injecting a total of nearly one billion dollars into communities like Owen Sound.
- The City is making every effort to expedite the Centre. Contracts have been awarded for the total value of the work to be done on the Centre. As much material and equipment as is practical is being purchased before the March deadline.
- The City has offered the two senior levels of government a guarantee in the form of a bond or letter of credit. This assures them that the local funding for the Centre will be forthcoming despite the delay in completing the project.
Yes, the building roof can accommodate flat mounted solar panels.
This strategy is being constantly evaluated and used for trade packages on a case-by-case basis. We foresee cases where we will be able to use multiple shifts. The use of additional shifts is limited to work that does not require a continuous supply of materials such as concrete and gravel that are only available during normal working hours. The use of additional shifts often has a cost premium which has to be weighed against any time advantage.
There are a wide range of these features throughout the Centre including:
- A waste recovery refrigeration system will be used in the arena area. It will handle the creation of ice surfaces and also the waste heat from the process will provide radiant heat to other parts of the complex. It will also reduce the heating loads on the building by pre-heating the domestic and pool water. This in turn will lower operating costs.
- A reflective roof that reduces the heat island. This allows the roof to reflect heat from the sun during the day when it is most hot. This means that the heat will not be released into the atmosphere in the evening as is the case with traditional roofing systems.
- Increased perviousness of the site by minimizing asphalt and providing green space, such as bio-swales and sodded areas, enabling water to penetrate the ground surface allowing the aquifers below grade to be recharged.
- Reduced light pollution by ensuring that light from the building and site does not spill over the site boundary. This will ensure that there is no adverse light impact on the surrounding neighbourhood.
- A reduction of potable water use on the site by 100%. This is achieved by not implementing an irrigation system and using drought-tolerant plants and native species.
- Reducing potable water use by 40% within the building by using low-flow fixtures. This will save thousands of litres of water annually and help reduce operating costs.
- Using materials with the high recycled content. This reduces the need to harvest or create new materials thus lessening the demand on the environment.
- Conserving energy by installing occupancy sensors to control lighting in non-occupied spaces. When a room has been motionless for a specific period of time the lights will be automatically turned off. The sensors will turn lights back on when they sense motion.
- Energy efficient lamps are being used instead of standard fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. These lamps have a longer life, require less energy and maintenance.
- Glazing has been strategically selected to provide the desired aesthetic for the building while also protecting against solar glare and heat gain within program areas. The glazing has a translucent-opaque film in the glass that will limit direct sunlight while still providing the glow of natural light. It allows the building to reflect its surroundings during the day, while at night permitting the activities inside the Centre to be seen from the outside.
- The boilers within the facility have been equipped with heat wheels. These wheels will capture heat from the exhausting air and use that heat to pre-heat the supply of air for the change rooms, thus further reducing operating costs.
- As much construction material as possible will come from in and around the region. This reduces the amount of fossil fuel and pollution that results from transporting material from outside this region.
- Fifty percent of the total wood based material cost for the Centre will be FSC wood. The Forrest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification means that the wood has been cultivated from an appropriate location with a corresponding re-planting program. All FSC wood is harvested using the most environmentally sensitive procedures.
- A targeted energy saving for the Centre of 25% as compared to the baseline case. This significant projected energy performance translates into an overall, annual energy cost saving of over 15%.
- Monitoring of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels within occupied spaces to ensure that they are within acceptable levels. This is part of an overall indoor air quality program.
- Low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpet, composite woods and laminates will be specified for the entire facility.
A significant amount of local businesses and labour will be used for the project, through arrangements with select, prequalified contractors, both union and non-union. For union work the contractors are required under their collective agreements with each union to acquire personnel through their local union offices drawing people from the local area as available. It is expected that there will be upwards of 150 people working on the project during peak periods with over 300 people working on the project over its duration.
Generally, 60 to 70% of the on-site personal are from the Grey-Bruce region. Several local company services have been engaged on the project including but not limited to Harold Sutherland Construction, E.C. King/Miller Group, Sierra Aggregates, CRS Rental Supply, Graham Construction/Scott Builders, D.J. Peat Roofing and Siding, Wayne Bird Fuels (Petro-Canada), Ken Johns Powerline Construction, Mundle Electric, Concept Signs, Grey County Sign Shop, Bluewater Sanitation, Ivan Dinsmore Limited, Georgian Bay Fire & Safety, Gamsby & Mannerow, Porter’s Precast, Home Depot, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Fulford Hardware, Coates & Best Inc., Have1.com, Lewis Motor Sales, Scott’s Industrial Supply, TSC Store, Bruce Tractor, Huron Tractor, Toromont CAT, and several local private trucking firms including Sprung Transport, MacDonnell Excavating, Ron Nickason Plumbing & Heating Ltd, Albright Trucking Inc, Underwood Construction, and Jim Dier Construction. In directly local business are also benefitting from the project from the use of local accommodations, food, entertainment, etc.
A sign with a list of the local firms involved in the project will be maintained at the site and on the City’s website. This sign will be updated as required to reflect any additional local businesses that may become involved with the project.
A notice for Prequalification of Selected Contractors was issued by the City in November 2009 and the Construction Manager, Aquicon Construction Co. Ltd., has reviewed the submissions. The prequalification process ensures that companies working on the project have the experience, qualifications, and resources with respect to manpower and production capacity to undertake a project of this magnitude.
Several of the various trade packages have been awarded.
The list of prequalified companies or awarded contracts is published on the City’s website, www.owensound.ca/recreationcentre.php., along with a list of unions involved in the project and appropriate contact information.
Local companies are encouraged to contact the prequalified/successful companies to determine if their company can be engaged to work on the project.
Currently the project commitments under the Project Charter include:
1. A Health and Fitness Component managed by the Family Y featuring:
- An aquatic centre with a 25-metre pool and warm therapeutic pool;
- Fitness/conditioning/wellness centre;
- Walking/running track;
- Program rooms;
- Related support amenities and common shared spaces.
2. A Double Ice Pad managed by the City:
- 8 regular dressing rooms, 2 barrier-free dressing rooms, an extra dressing room for teams that have both males and females requiring separate change facilities, and a referee change room.
3. Common Shared Spaces (e.g. entranceways, corridors, lobby).
No additional facilities can be incorporated into the program within the existing budget. Should an organization have a strong business case and funding, the Regional Recreation Centre Steering Committee will consider its proposal.
Services such as electrical and water connections for operation of a kiosk-style canteen have been included for the facility in the common areas. The City and the Family Y will not operate a canteen at the new facility. Organizations or businesses which wish to operate a kiosk-style canteen at the facility should contact the City.
The City’s Strategic Plan encourages the municipality to continuously evaluate partnering opportunities in the delivery of all City services.
In 2007, the Recreation and Parks Master Plan recommended that the City, Family Y, and the community pursue the development of a new regional recreation complex. A task force was created and in August 2009 the City and Family Y signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlined their collaboration to achieve the vision of a new community recreation centre.
The Family Y has expertise in the delivery of recreation programs, and the City and Family Y have an aligned vision of an active and healthy community with facilities accessible to all people. The City and Family Y also have a strong partnership around the delivery of summer recreation programs.
Each ice pad will be able to accommodate viewing for 280 people:
- Approximately 125 cold spectator viewing along the edge of the ice surface
- Approximately 136 cold spectator viewing in the 2nd floor lobby
- Approximately 20 warm spectator viewing in 2nd floor gallery
- Standing room warm viewing for approximately 30 spectators (one ice pad only)
Needs assessments and public consultation undertaken by the City at the time of the funding application concluded that an additional ice surface was required to fulfill the current demands for recreational use.
There will not be fixed seating on the pool deck, as the area will be used for participants, coaches, and support personnel. However, the area outside the pool will accommodate up to 120 spectators, depending on how event organizers arrange the space. The walking/running track on the second floor of the fitness centre can also be used for spectator viewing. Additionally, electronic media can assist in allowing spectators a close-up view during competitions.
The new pool will be competition size – 25 metres long and eight lanes wide – enabling us to host swim meets with the Owen Sound Aquatic Club and the Special Olympics Program in our community. Combined with the warm water leisure pool, which is the same size as the existing Y pool, it will triple the aquatic space currently available at the Family Y. An Olympic size pool is 50 metres long and geared to high-end competition in densely populated areas.
The existing Family Y pool is fully booked, with more than 300 people using it daily. The new aquatic centre will readily meet the increased needs of our community for fitness, swim instruction, leisure play, rehabilitation and competition.
The City and Family Y representatives were working with preliminary plans and cost estimates. Upon the hiring of the Architect and Construction Manager both assured the Steering Committee that the Centre could be completed by March 2011.
After early geotechnical investigations it was understood that the facility would require an engineered foundation using caissons. Further study uncovered the presence of groundwater on the site. There were delays as the foundation had to be re-engineered and a dewatering plan put in place. Every development site has unique challenges and this one has been addressed and construction is moving forward.
Early on in the project development the City did investigate the potential to relocate the Regional Recreation Centre to other properties. Unfortunately much of the City within the valley is underlain with similar materials as those found at Victoria Park.
The criteria for evaluating other sites included the existing topography or grade of the property (needed a relatively flat site); existing official plan designation and zoning; infrastructure would need to be in place (including roads, traffic studies, bus routes, water sewer, storm water drainage, etc.); ownership of the property (non-city owned property would have to be purchased which would increase the cost); subsurface conditions of other properties (shallow bedrock or similar soil conditions would also have additional cost); proximity to urban area (need to be in close proximity to urban area to permit pedestrian and bicycles access); and overall costs (cost had to be less than additional cost for Victoria Park).
It was ultimately concluded that although there were other sites that may have met some of the above criteria the cost to acquire the land and establish the necessary infrastructure to the site exceeded the additional costs to develop the Victoria Park property.
In addition, the relocation would have substantially delayed the project by months resulting in the potential for further loss of funding. The delay would be required as the building would need to be redesigned, geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations would have been required to be undertaken and any necessary re-zoning would need to be completed prior to initiating any of these activities.
A project this size requires funding from many different sources. The federal, provincial and municipal governments have committed capital funds. As well, the Family Y has also committed capital funds, however, the project also requires a community fundraising campaign. The Family Y is leading the community fundraising campaign for $5 million to build the $38 million centre. The Family Y is a charity and will issue income tax receipts for charitable donations. The Family Y is mobilizing its large network of volunteers, as well as welcoming new volunteers to implement this community fundraising campaign. Anyone interested in volunteering can call 519-376-0484 ext. 222.
Funding for the Recreation Centre is being provided through debenture costs being paid off from the GBE Interest. (See “What is the Georgian Bay Energy (GBE) Fund?” above.) Other financing approaches are being used for the 9th the Street Bridge project. Both Provincial and Federal funding is being provided for the Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades and the remaining portion will be financed by the utility users and not from the property tax base.
The Family Y has been serving our community since 1877 and the new Regional Recreation Centre will be the third Family Y facility to be built in response to changing community needs and with the support of the community. Surveys were undertaken to assess the need for a new Family Y and the support for it in the community. Based on this, and in conjunction with the City of Owen Sound, the Township of Georgian Bluffs, and the Municipality of Meaford, the vision for the new Regional Recreation Centre came into being. Other centres in our region work with their own client groups in their own ways. The Family Y’s approach is to work with people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and financial situations. As a charity, the Family Y fundraises to provide financial assistance so that low income is not a barrier for participation. Over the Y’s history, it has addressed and responded to the needs of people throughout the Grey and Bruce region. The new aquatic centre will also greatly improve public aquatic facilities in our area.
Tax money is being used to build the new facility. Once it is built the Family Y will be responsible for financing their operations without any subsidies from the City or surrounding municipalities. Just as it does with its current facility, the Family Y will operate the new facility on a break-even basis. There are different ways to participate at the Family Y: by registration in a program, by a drop-in day pass or by membership. The Family Y is a community based non-profit charity.
As in the past, users of the arena portion of the facility will continue to contribute user fees either directly through the city or indirectly through local sports associations (i.e. minor hockey, figure staking, lacrosse, etc.).
The Family Y will continue to fundraise and provide financial assistance to individuals and families that are unable to pay the fees.
Council has unanimously supported the RRC project on several occasions through resolutions and bylaws.
There are many benefits from this new Regional Recreation Centre (Centre):
- The new centre will increase the emphasis on a healthy, active lifestyle, helping to keep people out of the medical system and medical costs down. There will be a positive effect on childhood obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and many other illnesses. The new Centre will excite people to become active!
- The Centre will be a hub for the community, where friends and families can all go to participate together or individually. Children may be at hockey practice or swim lessons while parents participate in yoga or workout in the conditioning centre. The new Centre will mean less driving and more activity.
- The Centre will welcome people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and financial situations. Seniors will interact with babies, and children with their parents, and teens will participate side by side with adults and seniors. Those with special needs will have improved accessibility with large, barrier free change rooms, including one in the Family Y with a sling lift to assist those using wheelchairs. Both pools have ramps so wheelchair users can wheel right down the ramp into the pool and then float off the chair for their activity. The warm water leisure pool will provide rehab for those with injuries, joint problems and joint replacements. Financial assistance will continue to be available to help ensure no one will be turned away due to low income. The Centre will truly welcome all members of our community.
- The Centre will have a sustainable design to benefit our environment. For example, the heat from making ice will be used to heat the building and the water for the pool.
- The Centre will provide for increased excellence in sports and the hosting of tournaments and competitions. The influx of athletes for hockey, ringette, figure skating, swimming and lacrosse competitions will boost our economy through their use of hotels, restaurants and stores.
- The Centre will help attract businesses, families and professionals who want to locate in a community that has the recreation amenities that they need.
- The Centre will boost employment, creating jobs for upwards of 150 people during peak building periods and 300 people overall. New positions will be added for the operations of the Family Y and the arenas.
- The Family Y will operate its component on a break even basis and will not require tax dollars to subsidize it. The Family Y will also ensure the facility remains in as good as new condition with capital upgrading.
- The Family Y is a charity and will continue to respond to community needs, as it has for over 130 years. The Family Y is community based and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors whose members come from our community.
Surrounding communities will be contributing to the cost of the Regional Recreation Centre through direct contributions to the project or through the fundraising campaign. If a municipality doesn’t provide direct capital support, residents of those communities may also be required to pay a user fee surcharge to offset the project costs.
Fees may need to increase minimally to ensure the new centre will break even financially. The Family Y undertook a market feasibility study that identified the membership fee that people in the community were willing to pay.
After the first public meeting regarding the new Recreation Centre, the City formed a committee made up exclusively of seniors to look at their recreational needs in the community. This group had several successful meetings and a new "McQuay Tannery Seniors Centre" has been established in the office building just east of the Bayshore Community Centre. The Centre is working on several initiatives which will provide and coordinate organized services and activities for seniors.
The new Regional Recreation Centre will meet the needs of people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and financial situations. In fact, seniors form one of the largest user groups of the Family Y, with over 450 registered members. The new Regional Recreation Centre will do even more to keep the seniors in our community active and healthy.