Library Budget Issues

Pipestone Flyer

    The expansion of the Leduc Public Library is on track, but additional money will be needed to see it to completion.

    During the April 28 City of Leduc Council meeting, director Facility and Property Services Bruce Knisley told council that bids from sub-trades are coming in much higher than anticipated during the intial budgeting process. Although Knisley said they anticipated increased costs once construction started, because of the Construction Management process, “the magnitude of the increases are significantly higher than expected.”

    Construction Management is a process which allows the construction process to proceed without the final completion of the detailed design elements of a project. The advantage to this is an accelerated project schedule, but there are limitations in knowing the final cost of the project before construction begins.

    Knisley noted several companies they had expected to bid on the project didn’t because of the construction demand in Leduc and Edmonton.

    “Contractors are finding themselves booked to capacity and being very selective on the projects they choose to bid on, or bidding them at inflated prices.”

    To lower the overall project costs, some of the design elements were changed.

    When the tenders for the majority of remaining sub trades closed, the initial project overrun was approximately $1,300,000 which included the use of the department’s entire $545,000 construction contingency. Administration, the Consultants and the Construction Manager, went back to the drawing board and were able to make changes to the design that would not significantly impact the performance, longevity or overall appearance of the building.

    “We were able to save $800,000 without removing services,” said Knisley.

    In addition to the higher than anticipated bids, Knisley said there are issues related to disposal, errors in the records of actual underground utilities, and soil conditions.

    Although the adjustments bring the project’s deficit to $500,000, that would use up the majority of the construction contingency, leaving nothing left for future issues.

    Council approved the request for the budget amendment.

    “It’s prudent for us to acknowledge you didn’t know this and we need to recognize that,” said Councillor Beverly Beckett.