The RDCK has rejected all bids for renovating the Nelson and District Aquatic Centre

UPDATED: Nelson Aquatic Centre closure delayed

The Regional District has rejected two bids to renovate the aquatic centre.

The Nelson and District Aquatic Centre will not be closing on May 1 as planned. On Wednesday, the Regional  District of Central Kootenay made the announcement after it rejected two submitted tenders because both were over budget by at least $1.2 million.

The regional district’s CAO Stuart Horn said the high bids did “catch them off guard” because prior to going to tender, the RDCK consulted with an external design team and a quantity surveyor to estimate the cost of the project.

“We don’t know where the gap was in the tenders as typically they are not itemized until a bid is accepted or are in the negotiations of acceptance,” said Horn.

He said there will be a pool closure, but he doesn’t know when.

A regional district press release acknowledges that NDCC Aquatic Centre Renewal Project did include factors which could result in a higher bid such as project complexity, perceived level of risk, the one-of-kind nature of a project, and remoteness of location compared to other commercial construction projects out for tender.

Horn said the lowest bid was from a Castlegar company.

Over the next three weeks the regional district will meet with the design team and will report to the regional recreation commission on April 27. Discussions will include how the regional district can “go back to tender and be a bit more solid with the numbers.”

Until then, the regional district does not expect to have any more information about a revised timeline for the project.

Recreation commission chair Ramona Faust said the commission is committed to the project.

“We also know everything in the scope of the project is necessary, and we will do what it takes to ensure we have good value for our investment,” said Faust.

Horn said they are working individually with the affected aquatic centre employees on what plans they had already made for May 1, trying to work around that as much as they can.

Joe Chirico, the regional district’s community services manager  said, “Although this tender process did not produce a bid that was within budget it is important that taxpayers receive value for money and that the facility meets the needs of the community over the next 40 years.”

In January, recreation commission and regional district board approved a $4.92 million budget with borrowing not to exceed $4.5 million for all renovations which the district called “critical upgrades”.

The entire aquatic centre is expected to be closed for eight months once renovations begin. This includes the leisure, lap and teaching pools, steam room, whirlpool and sauna. The pool change rooms will be closed intermittently during the shutdown. The arena, fitness area, meeting rooms and offices will remain open.

Just Posted

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Laird Creek residents still hoping for independent report on logging road

Logging company wants to reopen road that residents believe caused slide in 2011

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read