Yet another construction delay cancels classes at new community centre
LONDON, ONT. -- City hall is no longer providing an estimated completion date for the new East Lions Community Centre following the latest construction delay.
“Angry, of course, and frustrated. This has taken way too long,”
Councillor Shawn Lewis confirms the $22-million aquatics and recreation centre on Wavell Street will miss another planned opening date.
“Spring of 2019, then it was summer 2019, then it was fall 2019, now its spring of 2020. So not happy.”
Managing director of Parks and Recreation Scott Stafford explains that problems with the steel trussing for the roof had a domino effect on the timeline.
He’s no longer willing to predict a firm opening date, “I guess I'm just a little bit shy committing to a date at this point in time, but we are certainly committing to a late spring opening.”
Staff wouldn’t provide details about the cause of the delay, but Lewis explains, “There was a subcontractor working on this project who is now no longer working on this project, and that means [it takes time] replacing that subcontractor.”
City hall’s confidence in an early 2020 opening date is now impacting Londoners who registered through the Spectrum Program for winter activities inside the community centre.
Aquatics classes are now cancelled until the next session. Activities in the gymnasium, community rooms and community kitchen are being relocated, according to Stafford.
“We are looking at other venues out in the area, to take advantage of some of the schools and recreation centres in the area, to handle some of the dry land programming. But unfortunately there are only so many indoor pools.”
Work continues to progress on the facility, including the recent installation of basketball equipment, a playground and the paved parking lot.
Stafford promises Londoners’ patience will be rewarded when the East London Community Centre opens.
“We'll have lots of grand opening celebrations and some free opportunities for recreation programs and basketball and swimming as we get going.”
City hall is taking measures with the contractor to ensure the cost of the project remains within the approved budget.