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Harry Bailey pool renovation bill more than double original estimate

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Construction at the Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre may soon begin more than one year after the facility closed for renovations.

A report going to city council's regular business meeting next week says a tender for construction came back to council and exceeds the current capital budget by $5.95 million, pushing the total budget to nearly $30 million.

The update is the latest snag in the project that has already been delayed by more than a year.

Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre, which originally opened in 1976, was closed in March 2023 for a series of extensive renovations.

The project was expected to take 18 to 24 months with a price tag of $13.4 million, with $10 million coming from the Government of Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Building program.

However, the initial tender last spring came in at more than twice the available budget. City administration revised the scope of the work and had it re-tendered.

"The latest tender result reflects what the administration believes is the lowest price in Saskatoon’s current market conditions to achieve the minimum scope of work required for the facility in order to maintain already-approved federal funding, as well as meeting the needs of the community for the foreseeable future," the report read.

Construction is now set to begin on July 1.

Administration has put forward a plan to fund the project, which involves transferring money from a variety of funds and reserves. Administration is recommending allocating $2.97 million from the Major Capital Funding Plan previously approved by city council.

If approved, work would need to be deferred on the renovation of Fire Hall No. 6, and the renovation of the Fire Hall will be "re-evaluated in the future." 

Harry Bailey would re-open to the public in late Spring 2026 if the plan is approved by council.

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