Council shells out more money for Alder Street facility

March 22, 2024   ·   0 Comments


A bad day is when you’re having something repaired at an anticipated cost but you end up shelling out much more by the end of it all.

We’ve all been there at some point. Orangeville Councillor Joe Andrews has been there.

You bring your 11-year-old car to a mechanic who tells you in general terms what needs to be done to address whatever the issue is. However, through the course of removing this and that, spending time under the hood and beneath the car up on the lift, the mechanic realizes there are more issues that need to be addressed.

You’re going to have to pay more, the mechanic tells you.

That’s what Coun. Andrews fears may be the case with the latest work required at the Alder Street Arena. Council forked over $175,000 above a budgeted $350,000 quote when it met March 18 for work on the facility’s evaporative condenser.

The money comes from the Town of Orangeville’s general capital reserve funds.

Andrews said council has been told what the cost is for the particular piece of equipment, the condenser.


“Is there a potential of additional funds that could be required for this particular project?” Andrews said.

Heather Savage, the general manager of community services, suggested a contingency fund be allotted.

“That should be able to cover any of the other pieces that might come up that we’re unaware of,” she said.

Refrigeration systems have various components associated with them but one of the most important components is the evaporative condenser. The condenser allows the cycle of refrigeration to continuously operate.

This equipment is responsible for removing the heat created through the refrigeration process. Without the condenser, the refrigeration system could not create and maintain ice surfaces.

The condenser located at the Alder Recreation Centre has reached the end of its useful life and is due to be replaced based on the town’s Asset Management Program and 10-year capital plan.

The equipment failed in September 2023 when the outdoor temperatures were above average, and the condenser had difficulty removing the heat from the plant and eventually shut down.

The rink was out of commission for 11 days.

Staff secured a budgetary quote from a refrigeration specialist for $350,000 which was submitted as a 2024 capital budget request. Once the capital budget was approved, staff met CIMCO Refrigeration on site. It was determined the scope to remove the evaporative condenser was more significant than expected.

It requires the demolition of the existing exterior wall, the installation of support for new exterior wall panels, and the demolition and reconstruction of the library wall.

There’s the cost for the supply and installation of TDI thermal panels to allow for easy access for a new evaporative condenser in the future, and the rental of a crane to remove and install the TDI thermal wall panels.

An updated quote exceed the approved budget by $175,000 for a total of $525,000.

Staff are seeking Council’s approval for an additional $175,000 to complete this critical project.

“When we originally received the quote, we were meeting budget deadlines, Savage said.

A report to council indicates that the timeline for the project is extremely tight. To have this project completed by mid-August, the traditional beginning of ice season, the equipment order must be placed by the third week of March to allow for production and delivery times.

If the condenser is not replaced there is a high risk it will fail again and for longer or for good. In this case, all ice programs will be cancelled until a new condenser can be installed. That could require up to five months of lead time.

“Just for the public, this is additional funds for Alder [Arena] but not related to the pool,” said Coun. Tess Prendergast. “I think that’s an important distinction. This is for the ice rink. This has nothing to do with the pool.”

The pool at the facility has been undergoing renovations since 2020 with a handful of delays and cost overruns of nearly $5 million in that time.

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