Final budget numbers presented with arena auditorium reno complete

·1 min read

The project to renovate the upstairs auditorium at the Dundalk area went over budget due to problems discovered with the roof and also the mandated need for a new fire alarm system, Southgate council heard recently.

Even so, facilities manager Kevin Green said, the project brought value into the building because the province gave $302,500 support through Grey County for the EarlyON centre, and Southgate received almost $100,000 from the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund for the lift and accessible washroom.

Southgate’s cost share is about $150,000 come from the EcoPark community benefit fund, arena reserve fund and Melancthon recreation capital reserve. Council had been updated and approved expenses during the project to address the construction “surprises.”

Another of these was the discovery that drywall in the room was of the era during which sheetrock mud contained asbestos, and proper handling and disposal also added to the cost.

The auditorium now has dedicated space for the EarlyON and at the opposite end, separate drop-in and meeting area for seniors during the day and youth after school. These are bright, with added windows and all new finishes.

An open auditorium area was kept in the middle with a rock climbing wall, suitable for birthdays and with a space large enough to be used for other events as a community rental.

Coun. Barbara Dobreen asked about the increased echo in the space and Mr. Green said there weren’t immediate plans to address it until it is tested out by community use to see what the real effect is.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald