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HHCA contractors told of big spending plans

Don Wall
HHCA contractors told of big spending plans
MCMASTER INNOVATION PARK — McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) interim CEO Nick Markettos told a Hamilton-Halton Construction Association Construction Forecast audience that Diamond Schmitt Architects has developed an MIP campus master plan that provides over 1.7 million square feet of office, research and amenity space for a future capacity of 3,000 occupants.

Hamilton, Ont. is undergoing a renaissance and its neighbour Halton Region is looking at tremendous growth, delegates attending the recent Hamilton-Halton Construction Association (HHCA) 2018 Construction Forecast event were told, conditions that mean there will be lots of work for area constructors in the short and medium term.

The focus was on local public sector spending at the event. Representatives from Hamilton Public Works, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Halton Region Public Works, the Hamilton Light Rail Transit office and McMaster Innovation Park were on hand to discuss their upcoming capital spending programs.

HHCA general manager Sue Ramsay said the economic fundamentals of the region are strong.

“I think Hamilton has momentum and the message that I took from the speakers is that Hamilton has confidence,” she commented. “There is a lot of confidence in the economy in the larger Golden Horseshoe that the area is booming. We are coming into a renaissance in this city and people are really excited.

“We are happy to have the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board here, they have had a lot of funding coming their way in the past year and a lot of work coming up.”

School board project supervisor Nadeen Shehaiber advised delegates that tender announcements for new schools and major renovations would be coming out in regular intervals starting soon. Among the imminent new builds with tenders expected this year will be a new Greensville elementary school in Flamborough, the new Beverly elementary school also in Flamborough, two new elementary schools in Stoney Creek, Summit Park and Eastdale, and the new Nora Frances Henderson Secondary School.

Two other new schools, Glen Campus and Memorial, are in the early design stages with approvals not yet obtained.

Major renovation projects include Collegiate Ave. and Sir Wilfrid Laurier Elementary.

Shehaiber also noted the school board has $21 million budgeted annually for gymnasium expansions, new science labs, learning commons and visual arts rooms.

Many of the largest local public projects are scheduled for Halton Region, with the municipality’s manager of capital engineering and construction in the public works department Marek Braczek telling HHCA delegates Halton needs to accommodate expected population growth of 250,000 over 15 years. Halton is forecasted to have 820,000 residents by 2031.

Staging of projects will be important, said Braczek, as many of the builds will affect major existing arteries, such as Dundas Street and Trafalgar Road.

“There is not a lot of rocket science that goes into watermains but there are a lot of logistics,” he said.

“We need to be working with the industry to ensure you are as vested as we are in success.”

Between 2018 and 2027, the region plans to spend $2.1 billion on water and wastewater projects, $1.6 billion on transportation builds and $40.2 million on waste management projects, Braczek said.

In 2018 alone, there will be 30 tenders issued for water and wastewater projects representing $73.8 million in capital spending, and six tenders valued at $134.2 million for road works.

First up is the widening of Upper Middle Road in Oakville, with a tender to go out in February and a project budget of $8.6 million.

There will be a March tendering of water projects in Burlington valued at $4.4 million and another in April for more Burlington water works with a contract value of $11.4 million.

Major road projects to be tendered include the new 1.3-kilometre, four-lane William Halton Parkway in Oakville, to be tendered in the third quarter of this year with a project budget of $32.55 million; the widening of Dundas Street in Oakville, with the tender coming in April and a project value of $26.4 million; and the $20-million widening of Trafalgar Road in Oakville, to be tendered in the third quarter.

City of Hamilton director of energy, fleet and facilities management Rome D’Angelo told HHCA members the city has approved $21.8 million for future capital projects falling in the corporate facilities, recreation facilities and entertainment facilities envelopes.

In addition, there will be a major new build for the Hamilton Police Investigative Services Division.

D’Angelo also had major news from CityHousing Hamilton — his department has been asked to work on a delivery model for five new projects totalling $61 million.

As previously reported, the project team for the billion-dollar Hamilton LRT build will likely be announced next year, Hamilton LRT manager Trevor Horzelenberg told the Daily Commercial News, with the start of construction currently scheduled for 2018.

McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) interim CEO Nick Markettos presented details on two upcoming projects for the MIP site in west Hamilton. A new 100,000-square-foot Emerging Technology Centre is being built to attract researchers from around the world. Announced last August, the firm No. 16 Hospitality is planning to build a 134-room, five-storey Hyatt House hotel in the park that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019. The project value is $20 million.

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