Final costs in for Greater Vernon Athletics Park

Price tag of nearly $8.6 million for facility built at Okanagan College and opened in 2015...

The final construction cost of the Greater Vernon Athletics Park has now been confirmed.

The Regional District of North Okanagan borrowed $7.53 million dollars to construct the athletics park at Okanagan College as a result of a successful referendum held in 2013.

The budget was amended to $8.6 million dollars during the 2015 financial planning process to accommodate an increase in project scope and some higher than expected costs. Seventy percent of the additional budget was drawn from reserves, with the remainder secured through grants and general revenue.

The final cost of the project is $8,588,316.

This is within the amended budget that was approved by the board of directors in March 2015 and communicated to the public at the time of the adoption of the 2015 regional district financial plan.

“One of the issues we encountered was at the time of the initial site excavation,” said Stephen Banmen, RDNO’s general manager of finance. “There were areas of clay soils found that hadn’t been identified in the geotechnical analysis, resulting in a greater volume of excavation and ultimately higher costs.”

The other notable increase was due to market conditions.

“The cost estimates for the construction of the building were completed in 2012, when the building market was competitive,” said Banmen. “Over the next couple of years the Okanagan experienced dramatic cost escalation in market conditions which, despite our competitive bidding processes, resulted in higher construction costs for the amenities building.”

Also included in the amended budget was $340,000 to expand the amenities building to include additional shower facilities.

The final report will be received by the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee at their meeting on Thursday morning.

See Friday’s Morning Star for more details…