DIEPPE – The construction of Dieppe’s intergenerational community complex is set to begin this fall after the City Council awarded a nearly $30.6 million contract to Pomerlau Inc. at its public meeting earlier this week.
“Obviously, everybody’s very happy. We know there’s going to be tight timelines. That will mean the official opening at some point in time in September 2020. So we look forward to that,” said Mayor Yvon Lapierre.
The 22-acre complex is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. Pomerleau, a Quebec company, won out of three final bidders.
Mayor Lapierre said the city consulted 18 associations in the community to make sure the complex caters to various ages. It will include an indoor walking track on the third floor, small training rooms, a community kitchen, community rooms that can fit up to 150 people, a primary ice surface with about 1,000 seats, a secondary ice surface with about 300 seats, and an intergenerational greenhouse.
“All of these elements, I think will bring a lot of different people from different age backgrounds and I think a lot of different opportunities for intergenerational exchange between the demographic groups,” he said.
The complex will be located on College St., next to the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, and close to various schools. The older Centenaire Arena, situated nearby on Notre Dame St. will be destroyed once the complex is completed.
“We’ve had quite an explosion in population, so we had a need for an additional ice surface and we had an old facility where the rink is 50-plus years old and not in a very good shape. We looked at various alternatives and we decided that the best way was to build a larger complex and have two additional ice surface for a total of four for our community,” he added.
Although the complex won’t be open in time for the World Acadian Congress, which will be held in New Brunswick and P.E.I. in 2019, Mayor Lapierre hopes to host major sports events and shows there in the future.
The centre will bear the name of its main sponsor UNI Financial Cooperation, though a full name is still being discussed. UNI is contributing $1-million over the next 15 years, said Mario Griffin, Public Relations and Communications Advisor.
“This is something that we’re really proud of. We can’t wait for 2020 to see the result of it,” he said. “We are happy to be part of this project because it will be good for the community of Dieppe and its surroundings. Our involvement in past years as a corporate citizen is really important to us because we have a large UNI clientele in this region. We used to say that true wealth comes from sharing, and we profoundly believe in that.”
The project was initially estimated to cost $29-million, but that has risen to $31.65-million. Lapierre said since a business plan for the complex was made, the tariff on iron has increased by 30 per cent and the tariff on wood went up between 25 per cent and 28 per cent. The city had to make changes to the initial plan to keep costs within the maximum budget but is able to keep all the components requested by the community.
The city is contributing more due to the increased costs, but it won’t have to increase the amount it needs to borrow, which remains at $3.5-million, Mayor Lapierre said.
“There are no additional funds that we expect from the province or the feds,” he said.
The provincial government will contribute $7.25-million to the complex, the federal government will pitch in nearly $9.6-million, and the municipality will pay alm0st $10.6 million of the cost. Another $4.25 million will be funded by the community, including the funding from UNI.