Tim Bar­rie dis­putes city re­port on cost of PMC floor work

‘There’s games be­ing played by the city’

The Peterborough Examiner - - Front Page - JOELLE KO­VACH Ex­am­iner Staff Writer

City staff vastly over­es­ti­mated both the cost and time re­quired to do a se­ries of re­pairs on the cracked and struc­turally un­sound floor of the Peter­bor­ough Memo­rial Cen­tre (PMC), says Tim Bar­rie.

Bar­rie, who has rep­re­sented the se­nior and ju­nior Lak­ers lacrosse teams, says the struc­tural en­gi­neers who supplied the city with a sec­ond opin­ion on how to fix the PMC floor have told him re­pairs would cost $250,000 and wouldn’t re­quire the arena to be closed.

Mean­while a new city staff re­port — to be dis­cussed on Mon­day by coun­cil­lors — es­ti­mates that the en­gi­neers’ sug­gested fixes would cost $1 mil­lion and take 12 to 14 weeks to com­plete.

The en­gi­neers didn’t sup­ply a cost es­ti­mate in their tech­ni­cal re­port to the city — Bar­rie said he ob­tained this in­for­ma­tion when he called them to ask.

The Ex­am­iner could not check that in­for­ma­tion with the en­gi­neers on Fri­day, nor could the city’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager ver­ify it late on Fri­day evening. Bar­rie says city staff is wrong. “There’s games be­ing played by the city,” he said on Fri­day evening. “How do you take

$250,000 and turn it into $1 mil­lion?”

The Ma­jor Se­ries Lacrosse Cen­tury 21 Lak­ers have a lot at stake: If the city car­ries out its $3.5-mil­lion floor re­place­ment as planned, the arena will be closed from June 3 to Nov. 1 for con­struc­tion and the team will have to play its en­tire season else­where (the city-owned Ev­in­rude Cen­tre has been sug­gested).

Concerned about po­ten­tially los­ing the season, the Lak­ers urged coun­cil late last sum­mer to get a sec­ond opin­ion from an­other struc­tural en­gi­neer (the first opin­ion, from Car­va­jal En­gi­neer­ing, had rec­om­mended floor re­place­ment).

Coun­cil agreed to get a sec­ond opin­ion, and it was de­liv­ered this month.

Ear­lier this week, city staff re­leased the re­port from the Toronto en­gi­neer­ing firm En­tu­itive; it sug­gests re­pairs rather than re­place­ment of the floor.

Yet a new city staff re­port to coun­cil­lors ad­vises against do­ing those re­pairs be­cause it would leave orig­i­nal pipes and sys­tems from the 1950s in the floor — and those could leak at any time, re­quir­ing an emer­gency floor re­place­ment.

Bet­ter to re­place the floor now and be done with it, states the city staff re­port.

The full en­gi­neer­ing re­port from En­tu­itive was pub­lished on­line on the city’s web­site ear­lier this week, abut it doesn’t have any cost es­ti­mates at­tached to the sug­gested re­pairs.

That es­ti­mated price tag of $1 mil­lion is only in the city staff re­port (the same one that ad­vises against do­ing the re­pairs). The 12-14 week time­line for re­pairs was also part of the city staff re­port.

The Ex­am­iner tried to ask En­tu­itive en­gi­neers on Fri­day whether they agreed with that cost es­ti­mate and time­line, but firm prin­ci­pal Mike Hill­coat said he couldn’t dis­cuss any of his firm’s find­ings be­cause of a nondis­clo­sure agree­ment.

Mean­while Bar­rie said he spoke to En­tu­itive en­gi­neers who said their “sim­ple fix” would in­volve re­plac­ing a steel frame sup­port sys­tem for $250,000.

Bar­rie also said the en­gi­neers were “quite blown away” to hear that the city had es­ti­mated the cost of their re­pairs at $1 mil­lion.

Late on Fri­day evening, city com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Bren­dan Wed­ley wasn’t able to re­spond to Bar­rie’s as­ser­tion that the re­pairs could be done for $250,000.

City coun­cil­lors will dis­cuss this item, along with oth­ers on the agenda, start­ing at 6 p.m. Mon­day at City Hall.

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