South Cowichan Recreation manager Kim Liddle (left) and South Cowichan Pickleball Club executive members Laurie Vasey, Rick Hollingworth and Brian Johnson stand on the future site of the Kerry Park pickleball courts. (File photo)

South Cowichan Recreation manager Kim Liddle (left) and South Cowichan Pickleball Club executive members Laurie Vasey, Rick Hollingworth and Brian Johnson stand on the future site of the Kerry Park pickleball courts. (File photo)

Cost of new pickleball complex in South Cowichan has substantially risen

CVRD asked to provide more funding

The cost of the new pickleball courts at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre has risen substantially; from the $580,000 estimated last March to $744,500.

In a report to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, Kim Liddle, manager of South Cowichan Recreation, said 2021 saw “dramatic and unforeseen” cost increases in the construction market, and is asking the CVRD to pre-approve the extra spending for the pickleball courts in its 2022 budget.

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“The increased costs would be funded through savings from 2021, with an additional $164,500 added to the 2022 budget for Kerry Park Recreation Centre, funded through operating reserves,” Liddle said.

“The total budget for the outdoor pickleball complex will be $744,500; with 80 per cent of the costs coming from grant funding, and 20 per cent from operating reserves.”

The CVRD had hoped that a $550,000 grant received last year from the province would have almost completely covered the cost of the Cowichan Valley’s first pickleball-specific venue.

The South Cowichan Pickleball Club had been pushing for a facility since 2018, so South Cowichan Recreation took a chance on applying for what was anticipated to be almost the total cost of the project at the time to B.C.’s new Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, and it came through.

The new additions will include six new pickleball courts, a gravel parking lot, a structure with washrooms and changing rooms, a picnic area and a perimeter trail around the grounds that will connect with the Shawnigan Creek nature trail.

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In her report, Liddle said the request to increase the budget for the project in the 2022 budget was driven by the request-for-proposals process, which ended last month.

“When the grant submission was competed in December, 2020, the cost analysis submitted was accurate; however, 2021 experienced dramatic, unforeseen increases in the construction market,” she said.

“By pre-approving [the request to increase the budget], it will provide the ability to continue on with this 2021 project without any disruption to schedule and meet the requirements of the grant. If we don’t move forward with all components [of the project], there is a risk of losing the grant funding.”

The CVRD’s board is expected to discuss the issue at its regular meeting this week.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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