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Oakville moves ahead with second IPD project

Patricia Williams
Oakville moves ahead with second IPD project

The Town of Oakville, Ont. is moving ahead with a second project that will be delivered under an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model coupled with lean construction principles.

To be designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and built by Graham Construction, the Southeast Community Centre will feature a double gymnasium, fitness centre and indoor pool.

It will be constructed on the site of the former Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

A master plan for the redevelopment of the site as well as enhancements for the community centre were endorsed by the town’s council at a special meeting in late June.

The community centre project comes on the heels of the redevelopment of the Oakville Arena and Trafalgar Park, the town’s inaugural Lean/IPD project. It is thought to be the first such undertaken by a Canadian municipality.

Diamond Schmitt and Graham have been working collaboratively with the town through the design and construction phase to deliver that project on time and on budget.

"Oakville shows leadership in recognizing the value inherent in the IPD model," said Diamond Schmitt principal David Dow.

The redevelopment project that is now underway includes a NHL-sized ice surface, indoor running track, a seniors’ centre, fitness centre, full-size gymnasium and an indoor running track.

The arena’s distinctive wooden roof truss system is being retained.

Trafalgar Park will feature a fully accessible playground with a shade structure and a double tennis court that will be converted into an artificial outdoor rink in the winter.

The total budget for the project, including construction of a new fire hall, is more than $41 million, the town said in a posting on its website. Completion is scheduled for fall 2018.

The project team includes structural engineers Read Jones Christoffersen and mechanical-electrical engineers Smith + Andersen. The town opted to utilize an IPD approach after extensive research, said Nicole Wolfe, manager of capital projects in the facilities and construction management department.

"With all of our construction projects, we look for options for innovation," she said. "We are (continually) looking for a better way to do the design and the build."

Final plans for the redevelopment as well as the budget were approved by council last September.

Wolfe said the IPD process has been both "an eye-opener and a breath of fresh air.

"One of the struggles that owners have with traditional contractual arrangements is that we are giving the designer and ultimately the builder our parameters — this is what we want, this is what we need," she explained. "But we never really get involved in the detailed issues or design. This (IPD) process has allowed us to do that, to bring forward exactly what we need and expect."

Wolfe said the town is "very encouraged" by its experience to date with the Lean/IPD process.

"We think we are getting exactly what we need for a very good price," Wolfe added.

Meanwhile, the design process is just getting underway on the Southeast Community Centre which will be located adjacent to a new town park.

"We’re in the early days," Dow said.

At its special meeting June 27, council approved expansion of the single gym to a double gym, the provision of a therapeutic warm water pool, fitness centre and an indoor walking track.

These are in addition to amenities already planned, which include an indoor pool to replace Centennial Pool, multi-purpose rooms and space for intergenerational programming.

Currently, demolition is underway on the site. The contractor is Delsan-AIM. The town said demolition and site remediation are expected to take 12 months to complete.

Public consultation is planned for this fall.

"We are looking to push into detailed design in early 2018, once we get council approval," Wolfe said.

The centre is currently scheduled to open in fall 2020.

The project team includes structural engineers Read Jones Christoffersen and mechanical-electrical engineers Crossey Engineering Ltd.

A financial overview presented at the council’s late June meeting said costs for the entire project, including demolition, parking garage enhancements and development of the community centre itself, are estimated at approximately $54 million.

In terms of lessons learned, Dow said building a "robust" project team that communicates well and works well together is imperative on an IPD project. Diamond Schmitt previously designed an academic facility and residence for St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ont. using the IPD model. The contractor was Graham.

"I think all of the clients that we have worked with to date have shown great vision in pursuing this delivery model which is arguably a fairly new approach to design and construction," Dow said.

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