Man oh man Mr. Chadwick needs a fact checker going around behind him. I noticed in his latest blog post on Scripturient here:
He says “Another misleading statement was made during one of the all-candidates’ meetings last week: that our new recreational facilities – the Central Park Arena and the Centennial Aquatic Centre – cost $20 million and that the pool was 30% over budget.”
As you all know I was at the ACM sitting in the front row, right in front of Brian Saunderson. Brian did say that the pool ended up costing 30% more than the original turnkey quotation which Mr. Chadwick actually confirms in his blog when he says: The original quote for the building alone: $3,425,000. Council later approved an increase of $1,300,441. That looks to me like a 30% increase.
Brian then said that the pool and arena’s costs were approaching $15 million OK he overstated this by about 10% but I think if you include the extra running costs over the ‘Taj Mahal’ option as Chadwick calls it, over a number of years he is probably spot on. But as Mr. Chadwick well knows Brian got to $20 million as follows:
$15 million on recreation tents. $500k on the Eddie Bush floor with another $4 million needed to bring it up to standards and $1 million to be spent on the curling club. So let’s allow him to split hairs and say that the fragmented solution to our recreation needs cost us $19 million. I think even Rick Lloyd admitted that the ‘Taj Mahal’ would have cost between $25 and $35 million. I believe the number is closer to the bottom end of that range. That is way too close to ‘doing it right’.
Also take into account the following. I have a friend with a couple of girls in the 4 to 6 year old range. When he takes them to swimming lessons at the new pool, he is basically stuck sitting in the viewing area with a couple of vending machines for the hour or so twiddling his thumbs. If we had ‘done it once and done it right’ he could drop his kids at the pool and go have a quick work out in a gym or watch a hockey game on one of the twin pads, all in the same building. Or sit and have a coffee and a chat in one of the public areas or coffee shop that the multi-use solution would have offered. In the ACM Mr. Lloyd said that we “couldn’t afford it”. So because of that we have a fragmented recreation solution that only suit’s the needs of a few special interests and actually cost nearly as much as doing it properly.
I am guessing Mr. Chadwick will be waiting for the correction and apology from Brian Saunderson for rather a long time.
No matter how many flashy pictures Chadwick posts on his Facebook page and blog of people ‘thoroughly enjoying using these wonderful new facilities’. This decision that he and 6 other candidates running in this election, foisted upon us, could probably be justified if it was say $20 Million less. By the way, if the projects were put out on a competitive bid process maybe that would have been the case, but none of us will ever know that will we?