North Cowichan intends to move forward with replacing the roof at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, despite not getting a government grant that was hoped would pay for almost the entire $1.6-million project.
At it’s meeting on June 21, North Cowichan’s council decided to allocate about $1.57-million for the roof project from the municipality’s general revenue and reserve funds, while the City of Duncan, which contributes 13.2 per cent of the total costs for the CAC each year, will be expected to pay $225,000.
North Cowichan applied for an almost $1.6-million grant under the Federal/Provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program in January for the project, but was notified in June that it was turned down due to an “over subscription of applications” for funding.
The project was scheduled to proceed in 2021 if the grant application was successful, but it has now been postponed until 2022.
Alpha Roofing and Cladding Inc., which submitted the only qualified bid for the project, was given the contract for the work.
Jason Blood, North Cowichan’s recreation manager, said the municipality plans to purchase the materials required to do the roof work this year, with work scheduled to begin next July or August.
“When we begin will depend on the weather,” he said.
“We also need to work with CUPE and our user groups to minimize service disruptions (as a result of the roof work) next year.”
The roof of the CAC is deemed to reach the end of its serviceable life by 2022.
The roof project will include removing and replacing a new roof assembly on the main roof at the CAC, along with the roof over the front foyer, and providing a horizontal lifeline fall protection system anchored to the new underlying structure.
A $2.8-million major retrofit and expansion of the CAC, which began in June, 2020, was competed last January, with major funding for that project coming from a $2.4-million grant from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
As the CAC was built just over 13 years ago, Coun. Rosalie Sawrie asked staff at a recent council meeting why the roof at the centre would need to be almsot completely replaced after just a short time.
CAO Ted Swabey said aquatic environments are hard on steel structures.
“Like many other aquatic centres, we have to replace our roof before we got the life we expected out of it,” he said at the time.