By Greg Price
It is back to the drawing board for the Town of Taber in embarking on its initiative for new arena dressing rooms for the Taber Arena.
Taber Recreation Board members were updated on the stalled progress of the initiative after all proposals submitted for the project were either non-compliant to the terms for the request for proposals or were over the town’s budget for the project.
Of the three submissions, Venture Holdings’ submission was deemed to be non-qualifying, while two others exceeded the approved 2015 capital budget. The Venture Holdings bid was disqualified after the RFP evaluation team obtained legal advice recommending rejection of the bid, as the firm’s proposal did not provide some of the mandatory information required in the proposal instructions.
The two approved bids for the project — both significantly exceeding the 2015 capital budget allocation for the project — came from Silver Ridge Construction for $722,700, and MidWest Design and Construction for $687,536.
Council’s approved 2015 capital budget includes $450,000 for the addition of two new dressing rooms and a referee’s dressing room at the Taber Arena.
“It certainly doesn’t sit well with me, in hockey circles, or anyone else for that matter,” said Andrew Prokop, Taber recreation board member and Taber town councillor who has helped champion the cause for the project since its inception. “As it was stated previously, hopes were it would get done by the end of this (hockey season) and then it was suggested for October. Now we’ve extended it another two or three weeks because of this tender that hasn’t been accepted in the process. December doesn’t seem to be feasible now. It’s not like this is some major undertaking, most residential is like a three or four month finish date.”
The building addition would include two full-size player dressing rooms, a referee’s dressing room, and a janitorial room.
“Was this because of engineering?” inquired Luke Wijna, chairperson of the Taber Recreation Board, of why the costs were so much higher than first expected with the town budget projected for the project. “When I saw that, I was ‘holy, are they trying to build The Ritz?”
“It was way over budget, and because this is such an important project, council decided to re-tender this to see if someone will come back with a lower tender,” answered Randy Sparks, Taber recreation board member and councillor for the Town of Taber. “This needs to be done regardless. But you can’t sell the farm to get it done either. We’re hoping someone will come back with a reasonable tender so we can get this project underway. It has to be done, as quick as possible and as cost efficient as possible.”
A second request for proposals for the project have now been posted, and closes at 2 p.m. on Friday.