Sylvan Lake town council on Monday approved a $2.95 million budget increase for the soon-to-be-built NexSource Centre.
A number of the recommendations accepted by council — including the reconfiguration of the kitchen/concession area and the main lobby/reception area — were made to increase building functionality, according to public works director Dave Brand.
Others, such as the addition of heated concrete pads outside at the entrance to the building, were made with public safety in mind.
“They’ll melt the snow in the winter time so it becomes a dry entry, which is a really nice feature, and a big public safety feature too,” said Brand.
Combining two previously proposed ice plants into one will result in more efficiency and less equipment, he added. And substituting some of the structural steel in the building will result in a $700,000 cost savings.
But saving money wasn’t the primary aim of the value engineering sessions from which the recommendations resulted, said Brand.
“What we’re going through with designing this building is not necessarily just strictly about cost cutting,” he said. “When you cost cut, you lose functionality, and it’s really about making sure we deliver a community facility that the community is going to be able to use.”
The budget increase approved by council takes the total budget of the project to $33,550,000.
The scope of the facility will remain the same, and functional and programming space will be maintained.
“It would be significantly more cost to add those things in a few years down the road, so it was one of the aspects to build that space now so that it fits the community’s needs,” said Brand.
The budget increase, he added, would allow that to happen.
The value engineering sessions, held over three days at the beginning of April, were a first for the town. And given their effectiveness, they’re not likely to be the last.
“It’s been a really valuable process for us, even just to verify that what you’re getting is good,” said Brand. “Every little bit that you can find that obviously increases the value is a bonus as well.”
Construction on the facility is expected to begin within the next two weeks.