Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pincher Creek Town Council hears results of proposed curling rink/golf club facility study

Toni Lucas - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek heard a Curling/Community Recreation Centre Final Report by Gibbs Gage Architects' David Wittman on Monday, March 13.  The study was of the building which currently houses the golf course clubhouse, bowling alley, squash courts, Joe's Gym, and a restaurant in Pincher Creek with consideration of including a curling facility with either four or six sheets of ice.   Wittman explained his firm was engaged in the study for the last year and a number of stakeholders were involved in the process.

"I want to be clear that this is really an initial study," said Wittman. "There is by no means any finite recommendations in this, but these are best recommendations given the information we have uncovered on the facility and through discussions with stakeholders, and the Town itself."

 Some interesting news came from the study.  "The Golf Course is a seasonal structure.  I don't know if the (Golf) Clubhouse was ever intended to be used year round." That part of the building has no insulation or vapor barrier.  Testing did not include hazardous material analysis.  The bowling alley and breezeway is newer, more modern and structurally sound, but has no capacity for addition and none of the existing has evidence of lateral bracing.

Gibbs Gage floor plan for combined facility/  Curling rink in pink, golf club in blue

Wittman explained his company was tasked with assessing the needs and combining them for curling, bowling, squash, and golf.  Any addition would require the entire structure be brought up to new energy codes and include barrier free access.  "It's too large an area for combustible construction without a sprinkler system."  One way around a sprinkler system are firewalls between areas. Wittman explained the plan could do without the sprinkler system if the plan modified to firewalls between components.  He estimated the current projected cost of the sprinkler system to be $300,000.

"Our beginning assumption was the cost to renovate the Golf Course Clubhouse would be on par with a new construction, so we assumed selective demolition of the Golf Course Clubhouse only, and the breezeway component."  Part of the plan is to reduce costs by having shared areas such as  a sub-dividable banquet space with 150 capacity seating, washrooms and locker facilities, between multiple users.

The curling area would have a viewing area and four sheets of ice with the possibility of expanding to 6 sheets. The bowling alley and squash courts would stay as they are, with the addition of a dedicated entrance and certain other upgrades, and Joe's Gym was proposed to stay in the basement area of a new structure. Upgrades included an elevator for accessibility.

"There is a summary of the costs, for the high level this is essentially, for the entire construction, is about a 10 million dollar project." Wittman said there was a lot of room to either grow or shrink the program.

"It would be 12 (million dollars) to have six sheets of ice, with ice on them."  The 10.6 million dollar figure allowed for expansion at a later time to 6 sheets of ice.  If the plan decided to forgo that expansion the cost savings would be approximately one million dollars, from the 10 million dollars.  Wittman suggested his firm works with a consultant who does business case planning on recreation facilities.  "He is quite good at providing the operational costs, revenue planning, to help substantiate significant capital expenditure like this."

Mayor Don Anderberg said, "This is basically the way that the town has looked at projects over the last number of years.  To bring in professional help to look at all the aspects of what we need to look at and get some ideas, and identify some of the needs."  Gibbs Gage Architects have been paid approximately $40,000 to do this study.  Now that the plan has been made the Town can use this data to make decisions on the project or move forward and look for grants and other funding.  "Some of the ask here may not come to fruition, and we will have to work through that."

The Curling Club Location Designation and Gibbs Gage - Curling/Community Recreation Centre Final Report was accepted as information and the report was to be referred to the facilities planning steering committee for their review and recommendation.

There is a public facilities meeting scheduled for March 21 at 7:00 pm, to be held at Town Hall.

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