$1 million glass lobby too much for community centre - InfoNews

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$1 million glass lobby too much for community centre

The former John Tod School will see a $1.8 million renovation to accommodate a community centre.
September 25, 2013 - 2:36 PM

KAMLOOPS – The Boys and Girls Club and the Kamloops YMCA will soon have a new home at the former John Tod school, it just won't include renovated common spaces like a lobby after it was realized the costs were simply getting too high.

The original budget of $1.5 million was blown out of the water after architects sat down with the two clubs to see what a shared space would look like, and at a cost of $3.6 million to fully complete everything council decided it was a price they just don't want to spend right now.

Instead they opted for $1.8 million to renovate individual spaces while leaving a shared, open lobby out of the plans for now.

Mayor Peter Milobar said Tuesday it's a good opportunity to get both groups into the building. Over the next several years the groups will work together and the scope of what is needed for the shared spaces and how to fund it will come together down the road.

“$1.8 (million) is just not creating a joint lobby space, it will be a new looking, well functioning centre and will provide a lot of activity in that area,” he said. “It's a very good first step.”

Parks director Byron McCorkell clarified that at $1.8 million not everything in the conceptual plan would happen, but enough to get the groups comfortable and settled. The shared lobby was not part of the initial plan but came up during the conceptual phase between the two groups.

In approving the $1.8 million option council also authorized short-term borrowing of $500,000 and the formation of a task force that will look at community awareness and fundraising options. The Kamloops Y will have to pay back $250,000 over five years while staff will work with the Boys and Girls Club in securing it's half through donations and in-kind contributions.

The club had previously expressed concern it would not be able to reach that goal and would likely only be able to come up with about half that amount. McCorkell says the group is aware of this higher amount and still has concerns.

“It's clear (the club) does not have that ability at this point,” he told council. “The risk as written is that. We do not have a partner that says they have the funds.”

A final plan will now be created based on the budget set out by council and then construction will begin. The school has sat empty for several years and earlier this year the city received $250,000 in federal grant money to help with the project.

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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