Tim Barrie disputes city report on cost of PMC floor work
‘There’s games being played by the city’
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.