With all but 10 per cent of the more than $345,000 in community fundraising for Halfmoon Bay community hall amenities slated to be returned to donors, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) will look at a reduced spending plan for the project.
“For the purposes of reallocating the existing project budget, the remaining community donations will not be included in the total project budget calculation," a staff report on the agenda for a June 22 committee meeting states.
A new $4.15 million (down from $4.5 million) budget is to be discussed at the meeting. The report suggests that $3.5 million of those funds be earmarked for a hall at Connor Park and $633,228 (down from $707,000) for new amenities at Coopers Green. Any recommended budget changes require endorsement at a future board meeting.
Following an April 6 board decision to move the hall location to Connor Park due to construction challenges posed by tidal flooding risks at Coopers Green, the SCRD provided donors who had contributed to the project as initially proposed the option of requesting refunds.
Lower hall amount 'sufficient'
The report states that the recommended hall funding level is anticipated to be “sufficient” for the build. It is noted the proposed structure “will be more similar to the size of other SCRD community halls” at about 185 square metres, about a third smaller than what had been planned for at Coopers Green.
A hall construction timeline laid out in the report shows that following community engagement over the coming months, a report encompassing that input into a “pre-design” document is to be completed in the final quarter of this year. Design concept and budget decisions from elected officials would follow in November, according to the timeline.
The report states that mid-2024 is the target for issuing hall construction tenders, with the start of the build projected before that year’s end. A tender call in a “design-build” format rather than separate calls for those two phases is being considered to speed up the project. The $2 million senior government grant approved for the project currently requires the build be completed by March 2025. An extension to that date is being discussed, according to earlier reports provided by staff.
Public input sought
The committee discussions will follow a June 21 public engagement session to review hall siting and other initiative details. That event is at Connor Park from 3 to 7 p.m.
Additional chances for the public to speak with SCRD representatives about the project are to be scheduled over the coming months. An SCRD webpage has been set up to provide details on those and to provide opportunities for individuals to ask questions about the projects. The page also allows browsers to view questions asked by others, the SCRD's responses to those, as well as background reports on the initiative.