Mould, rodents, fire safety add $3.2M to shelter
The city will be forced to pay an extra $3.2 million to convert a Kingston Rd. motel into an emergency shelter after “unforeseen” issues with mould, rodent infestation and fire safety were uncovered during construction, says a report from city staff.
“During renovations, it was determined that the site required extensive remedial work due to site conditions that could not have been foreseen prior to purchase,” staff from facilities management and purchasing wrote in a report alerting council that the “emergency non- competitive” contract was issued in late November to tackle the urgent problems.
The overhaul was underway at the former Comfort Inn, near Bellamy Rd., when the extent of the rodent, fire and mould issues were discov- ered. They also found “low quality or insufficient” masonry, “original construction that was not completed to code,” and an insufficient “domestic and fire water supply,” according to the report.
Steelcore Construction Ltd. won the bid and was awarded a contract with a net value of $8.7 million in early 2018, and construction began shortly after, staff reported.
Councillor Gary Crawford, who fought for the purchase and conversion of the property, said it was always understood the final cost would be higher. The shelter is being funded as part of a plan to redevelop George St., including the razing and replacement of Seaton House.
“We knew that there would be additional work required once we took possession,” Crawford told the Star Monday. “Until you actually take the walls down, you don’t know the full extent.”
There were some “surprises,” he conceded, and significant work was needed on the water main connection. A building condition assessment, a survey to detect toxic substances and an environmental assessment were conducted prior to purchase, city staff confirmed.
Councillor Gary Crawford fought for the purchase and conversion of the property.