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CUPlex exceeds five per cent contingency; completion dates approaching

The Credit Union CUPlex has just gone over budget.

The Credit Union CUPlex has just gone over budget.

That news, which came out of North Battleford's parks and recreation committee meeting Tuesday, comes as two components of the CUPlex - the aquatic centre and theatre - are ready to achieve substantial completion next week.

In response to a question at the meeting from a committee member about how the project was doing financially Parks and Recreation Director Keith Anderson confirmed the project was now slightly over the five per cent contingency budgeted for the project.

"I think we just passed our five per ent," Anderson told the committee.

The 2012 operations and capital budget had projected the overall cost for the CUPlex at $57,717,527, with the contingency included.

Anderson did not share specifics about the financial state of the project at the meeting. He did say he intends to provide a complete financial report to council on the CUPlex in the near future, though he said it will not be for next week's meeting.

Committee member Richard Hiebert asked if the city had come to terms with what it would cost to run the four components. Anderson responded there was a projected budget that went to council in its 2012 budget, and responded he will bring back those 2012 budgets and revenue projections to the next parks and recreation meeting in June.

In spite of the news about the CUPlex costs, steady progress was reported in Anderson's update on the project.

He confirmed substantial completion was still expected to be Monday, May 28 for the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts and Tuesday, May 29 for the Co-op Aquatic Centre.

He told the committee a walkthrough with the architect and with the theatre consultant was scheduled to Monday at the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts, to perform a final check off. The electrical and mechanical were to be checked off this week, Anderson said.

A walk through is also to happen at the aquatic centre, though those plans were described as "tentative" by Anderson.

Even though substantial completion is next week, "it doesn't mean we get to move in," Anderson said. A substantial fit up period is expected at the theatre and a training period is also expected for staff at the aquatic centre.

Anderson expected the aquatic centre to open in July and the theatre in early September.

The September theatre opening is also in line with what theatre general manager Moe McGuinty told the News-Optimist earlier this year. Of the new theatre manager, Anderson had positive things to say. "He's doing well, he's working hard," he said.

Work continues at the curling and field house components with July 7 to 9 estimated for completion of the curling rink and Oct. 15 for the field house. Anderson also estimated a fit up period to happen after Oct. 15 for the field house.

The News-Optimist tagged along on a tour of the CUPlex by a group of supporters Friday. For photos from the tour visit the photo albums under the community tab.