More money needed to pay for Kelowna Family Y building repairs

The city-owned building has seen the cost of its repairs skyrocket to $2 million from the original $850,000 budget.

What started out as an $850,000 job to replace the concrete floor of a changing room at the Kelowna Family YMCA building in Rutland, has turned into a $2 million, multi-faceted on-going headache for the city, where new problems seem to spring up almost as quickly as old ones are fixed.

For a third time, city utility services manager Kevin Van Vliet was back before Kelonwa council Monday asking that more more be provided to pay for the work.

This time an extra $180,000 was requested to pay for the replacement of electrical wiring found to be corroded to the point where occupant safety was being compromised. The work has already been done.

The problem was so bad, the city was ordered to replace the wiring by the B.C. Safety Authority

In July 2013, council was asked to add $637,000 to the original budget budget to expand the work to replace of the concrete slab under the women’s changing room and above the facility’s boiler room to include revamping the men’s and family changing rooms. The Kelowna Family Y also provided another $78,000 towards the expanded project. The city’s had received a $250,000 federal grant to help pay for the original work.

The repairs were supposed to be completed last year but prior to the the work starting, the contractor and the city received a report from the B.C. Safety Authority identifying “extensive and serious” safety concerns with the building’s electrical system.

While money was set aside in the budget for that work in 2015, the damage was much more extensive than originally thought, said Van Vliet in a report to council.

In addition, mechanical repairs had to be done in a number of areas, including to the plumbing above the whirlpool, When the extent of the corrosion in the sewer pipe above the whirlpool was discovered it, was decided to replace all the plumbing in that area o the building and replace the ceiling over the whirlpool.

Other work that was found needed to be done during the project included replacing steel stud walls that were found to be corroded beyond the point of being structurally sound, fixing ventilation modifications that were inappropriately done on an ad hoc basis and replacing handrails in the facility that were  corroded beyond the point of use.

“The scope of the facility deterioration was far worse than anticipated,” said Van Vleit.

While the YMCA and federal government did provide some money to help pay for the work at the city-owned facility in the Rutland Recreation Park, the mounting bill for taxpayers was a concern to at least one city councillor.

Coun. Mohini Singh asked if council could expect to see Van Vliet before it again asking for more money.

But he said no, his appearance Monday would the last time he was ask council to provide more money for the project, which is now substantially complete.The building was turned back over the Kelonwa Family Y for its use in December.

But Van Vliet said the $65,000 in contingency funding set aside for the project was not enough to cover the cost of the electrical replacement and that’s why he needed the extra $180,000.

He said he was confident, that would be enough to finish playing the project’s bills.

Council approved spending the extra money.