Jasper Place Leisure Centre nearly done three years later: City
Published Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:13PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:54PM MDT
An 18-month timeline to upgrade the Jasper Place Leisure Centre shouldn't have been approved the way it was, says an Edmonton city councillor.
According to the City, the project is now 95 per cent done and will open to the public by the end of 2019.
"The City apologizes for how long this has taken," Jack Ashton, general supervisor of the city's infrastructure services, said Wednesday while giving a tour of the construction site.
The apology comes after years of setbacks following the start of construction in 2016: first, the discovery of asbestos and lead paint, then problems with the pool basin, and most recently, a transformer failure that resulted in water damage.
Kathryn Wojtowicz of the Elmwood Community League told CTV News Edmonton residents haven't felt adequately informed about the project's setbacks.
"I think just the misinformation given to citizens and the community is what’s really upsetting people," she said.
"It’s always, 'It’s delayed, it’s delayed,' but we don’t know why."
Ward 1 Councillor Andrew Knack says the City has since changed the way projects are green-lit.
One of the changes is to conduct more comprehensive research before closing facilities like Jasper Place.
"It felt more like an educated guess," Knack said of the Jasper Place project.
"We were approving project schedules and budgets without really doing the detailed work you should be doing."
Wojtowicz asked, "Why was that not determined beforehand? It's an old building. It should have been looked at."
The City of Edmonton first looked at the feasibility of rebuilding the centre as a multi-purpose facility in 2005 and then again in 2011. Funding for the first stage of work was approved in 2014.
With files from Timm Bruch