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Paul Reynolds Centre repairs to cost $935K; who pays depends on lawsuit, St. John's councillor says

Coun. Ian Froude speaks with reporters after the regular Monday St. John's city council meeting, where council approved spending nearly $1 million to repair the HVAC system and other problems at the Paul Reynolds Community Centre.
Coun. Ian Froude speaks with reporters after the regular Monday St. John's city council meeting, where council approved spending nearly $1 million to repair the HVAC system and other problems at the Paul Reynolds Community Centre. - Juanita Mercer

Contract for work awarded without open call for bids

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Paradise-based business Newfound Mechanical Ltd. has a $935,000 contract to complete emergency repair work on the Paul Reynolds Community Centre.

The work will be completed while a lawsuit is ongoing between the city and the previous general contractor around quality of construction of the building, according to Coun. Ian Froude.

He said the repair costs will be booked against the cost of the centre, meaning who ultimately pays the $935,000 will be decided with the outcome of the lawsuit.

Extensive repairs are needed.

The Paul Reynolds Centre. - SaltWire File Photo
The Paul Reynolds Centre. - SaltWire File Photo

The HVAC system needs to be repaired to address issues with humidity and moisture control, according to approval documents. 

The documents say electrical upgrades are also required to repair or replace equipment affected by the humidity issues – documents cite corrosion of electronics, fire and life safety response systems, telephones, computers, and exercise equipment by excessive moisture in the building. 

Froude said the city didn’t invite an open call for bids to complete the work because repairs are required immediately. 

Provincial public procurement regulations state a public body is not required to issue an open call for bids where an emergency, or a situation of urgency, exists and the acquisition of the commodity cannot reasonably be made in time by an open call for bids.

“We also wanted to ensure that the contractor doing the project had good familiarity with the building,” Froude told reporters after the regular Monday council meeting.

Council approved the repair work on Sept. 11 via e-poll. 

Documents approving the work further explain why an open call for bids was not invited.

“Any further delays in remedying the situation will cause additional damage to the building systems and result in increased cost and life safety concerns,” it reads.

In addition to the HVAC work, a health and safety directive from Service NL also required immediate repairs to the waterslide tower to address standing water issues. 

According to the documents, that will require removal of the stone-hard surface, grinding and cutting of the structural slab and installation of drainage piping and reinstallation of the stone-hard surface with appropriate grading.

It’s expected all of the work will be completed by Oct. 27, and the building is set to reopen the next day.

Froude said he has been assured by staff they are confident the work will be completed on time.

The pool at the centre has been closed since August. This most recent closure is the third time in less than a year that the two-year-old pool has been closed for an extended time.

The last time it closed, in May, the closure was also due to mechanical issues with the air handling unit.

Twitter: @juanitamercer_


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