Ball and PCL competing for Sudbury recreation centre construction contract

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The competition for a contract to design and build a new recreation centre in Sudbury is down to two bidders.

EllisDon Corporation did not submit a proposal by the Jun.16 deadline, leaving Ball Construction/TESC Construction Inc. and PCL Constructors Canada Inc. Three companies were pre-qualified for the contract and staff is expected to present a report and recommendation to council next month. A revised cost estimate for the project will also be presented.

City council gave staff direction in July 2021 to proceed and approved $100 million toward the overall project.

Recognizing the dramatic shift in market conditions since the process began in 2017, the City of Greater Sudbury says it will adopt a progressive design-build format to replace the current design-build process for the project slated for completion in 2025.

“The change in procurement process is a result of concerns with risks in today’s market,” said Sudbury spokesperson Sacha Novack, adding that the city is not expecting cost savings from the change but does aim to achieve “best value from this competitive procurement process in the current market conditions.” She said the shift does not change the schedule for the project with site preparation still to begin in the third quarter.

The KED development is to include a multi-purpose events centre venue for concerts and sports — to replace the 72-year-old Sudbury Community Arena rink that is home to tenants including the OHL major junior ice hockey league’s Sudbury Wolves – alongside a hotel, casino and festival square.

The northern Ontario city says progressive design-build is an integrative process where management engages engineers and contractors early on to glean their insight and expertise throughout the life of the project.

It’s all part of an effort to achieve price transparency and certainty amid 31-year high inflation, supply chain disruptions due to the global pandemic, as well as labour shortages in the construction industry’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector.

Soaring prices for materials such as structural steel used in goods distribution centres and automotive and appliance manufacture are a challenge for a construction industry that is otherwise anticipating a strong 2022.

The city is expected to award the construction contract this year.

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