Projected cost of Warwick Community Centre nearly doubles to $9.75 million

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Arena reno expected to cost another $3 million

Warwick Mayor Jackie Rombouts says leaders will have to take a close look at the needs and the wants of a new community centre as the projected cost of the new building nearly doubles.

The township has been working on plans for a community centre since it learned Centennial Hall needed to be replaced. A preliminary design came to council in 2019 but recently Theresa Klachan, Manager Parks and Recreation, met with the engineering firm Spriet, and went over the details of the project.

Monday, the company came to council with a more detailed design of the project and a more realistic price tag.

Originally, council expected the new community centre to cost about $5 million. Spriet estimates it will be “at least” $9.75 million. That doesn’t include the $3 million to renovate the arena.

“We don’t even have the full costings of everything,” says the mayor.

Rombouts says no final decisions have been made yet and council will hold a special meeting Nov. 17 to discuss the project. She says councillors will look at what is needed and what is a nice-to-have. “Are these needs are they wants and a lot of this project is wants,” she says adding council wants to be forward-thinking as well. “But are they’re needed for the community that we want to have? So yeah, so that’s not going to be inexpensive.”

Rombouts adds the community understands this more than just replacing an aging community hall. “We are upping the level of service that we can offer to our community exponentially by adding the YMCA … it’s not just a dance hall that we’re building, we’re building a multipurpose place where church groups could go and worship or you can have basketball, volleyball pickleball; there’s so many different services that we can offer through this, that we couldn’t before.”

Rombouts expects council to have a long discussion about the project but adds the community is excited about the prospect of a new hall.

“We’ll see where we go; it’s going to get built. It’s just a matter of when and how soon because with what we have now, it is not 100% the best time to do fundraising with COVID.

Council did agree to hire a professional to help with the fundraising drive, whenever it happens. Rombouts says council is asking for bids for the project and expects it could cost as much as $15,000.

So far, Warwick has been unsuccessful in securing provincial and federal grants for the project.