Shoddy workmanship delays opening of Delta arts centre

Poor workmanship has delayed the opening of Delta’s newest arts centre.

Located adjacent to the North Delta Recreation Centre, the North Delta Centre for the Arts is replacing the old Firehall Centre for the Arts that has been demolished.

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The 84th Avenue facility was originally scheduled to have opened this spring, but that’s been delayed with a grand opening celebration now slated for Sept. 28.

Parks, recreation and culture director Ken Kuntz said the project has been slower than anticipated due to a number of elements having to be redone.

“In this project a full set of design requirements and specifications were provided by the city. There were a number of elements that the contractor had to redo because the trades used by the contractor did not achieve the standards required by the terms of the contract,” Kuntz explained via email. 

“This has resulted in the project being behind schedule. The city through its consultants have been unwavering in achieving the quality standards outlined by the contract and will deduct any additional cost the city has expended in the late delivery of the project.”

Delta council awarded a construction contract in 2017 to developer Maple Leaf Homes to build the arts centre.

In large part, Delta is paying for the arts centre with money from a land deal with Maple Leaf Homes. The developer purchased a portion of the North Delta Recreation Centre property to consolidate it with another property to build over 100 condos and townhouses. That land sale was subject to approval of the Delta Gardens housing development. Construction of those units is also well underway.

The land deal, as well as a $1 million amenity contribution from the developer, didn’t cover the cost of the new arts venue, so Delta is putting up $3.1 million.

Once completed, the $7.7-million facility will have around 11,000 square feet of space. The two-storey centre will include a theatre with a large foyer and concession space as well as multiple music and meeting rooms.

The new arts centre will also be able to accommodate public meetings and have a more formalized space for council meetings held in North Delta.

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