By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Conservative MP David Sweet says the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre’s $1.75-million expansion is in good hands with local councillor Lloyd Ferguson overseeing the project.
“I spoke with Lloyd and he feels they are back on track,” said Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.
Ferguson, who helped to fire the contractor on the project because he wasn’t meeting the deadlines, said with the new contractor in place, the renovations will be substantially completed by the March 31 deadline.
“They are making good progress out there now,” said Ferguson. “We will meet the definition of substantially completed by the end of March.”
He said the delivery of the roof, which was expected last week but was delayed because of the weather, will be made this week.
There is a push by ASAC officials to have the grand opening of the new facility in June, which is seniors’ month. but the facility will be well finished by then.
“I suspect by March or early April when it will be opened,” he said.
Late last year there were some serious concerns from ASAC and city officials about the slow progress to meet the federal government’s March 31 deadline. The Alberton Road project needs to be substantially completed by the end of March, or the federal government will pull its $500,000 contribution.
Ferguson said earlier the winning bidder, Jagen Construction, had been fired by the city for failing to meeting its contract obligations. The new contractor, STM Construction, began work soon after, and ASAC representatives say they are now confident the project will meet the deadline.
“We were concerned,” said Al Gordon, ASAC board chair. “But (STM) has been working every day except Christmas and New Year’s. They also were not concerned about the cold temperatures, saying they have worked in such weather before.”
Sweet said as far as he knows the federal government is not preparing to extend any deadline for the federally-funded projects.
During the last round of infrastructure projects, the federal government did extend the deadline. Still, the government eventually withheld money from three projects that failed to meet the deadline, including the Stoney Creek Recreation Centre, the Westmount Recreation Centre, and the Ronald McDonald House in Westdale.
The expansion includes 3,600-square-feet of new building space, and a 2,200-square-foot courtyard, is also receiving $500,000 from Hamilton, and $250,000 from the province. The ASAC is chipping in with $500,000 as well.
The ASAC had to fundraise the extra $100,000 which the club was near towards that end of last year.
The seniors group will also be starting a new campaign to raise another $100,000 for furniture, media and audio systems, and an alarm system with security cameras.
The former contractor did manage to complete a new septic system, which needed to be completed first.
Sweet said Ferguson has left a trail of successful projects he has shepherd including renovating Hamilton city hall, the Pan Am stadium and Morgan Firestone Arena’s upgrade.
“I have great confidence in the project now,” said Sweet.
“I’m happy he is involved.”