A new indoor soccer and community centre complex La Nation Municipality is planning to build in Limoges is now projected to cost three per cent more than originally projected, due to an increase in the cost of steel.

At the April 6 council meeting, Dino DiSano from IDEA, the Ottawa-based firm designing the complex, updated council on the planning and financial status of the project.

In December 2020, the total cost was projected at $13,623,994. As of March 2021, it had increased by $408,620 or three per cent, to $14,032,614. DiSano explained the main reason for the increase was a 20.9-per-cent increase in building costs, driven by a 30-to-60-per-cent increase in the cost of the rolled steel – a primary material in the new facility.

DiSano did note the cost increase has been significantly offset by a $1,262,256 reduction in site development costs. Originally, $2,131,156 was the projected cost for site development. It is now $868,900.

In addition to two indoor soccer fields and a community centre, the complex will include an indoor walking track, kitchenette, sitting area, locker rooms, and washrooms. It is to be located on land between École élémentaire catholique St-Viateur and the water treatment plant on Limoges Road.

According to IDEA’s plan, the fieldhouse portion of the complex will be prefabricated. DiSano said he would like to see the project go to tender before the originally projected time of July 2021, in order to avoid any further increases in material costs. Even with nearly three extra months, he noted, the waiting period for the prefabricated structure to be completed will still mean it will likely not be ready until the projected completion in 2022.

Council approved a resolution, moved by Councillor Francis Brière and seconded by Councillor Danik Forgues that IDEA’s final plan be posted on the municipal website on April 23 and residents be allowed to submit comments before council gives its final approval of the design on April 26.

Councillor Marie-Noëlle Lanthier and Mayor François St-Amour both agreed the website should include instructions to guide the sort of comments residents could make, as most of the major design plans have already been finalized.

“It’s managing expectations and not creating frustrations,” Lanthier said.

Recreation Director Carol-Ann Scott said her department is determined to respect the budget and appreciates any minor suggestions residents may have.

Brière asked if costs could decrease if pandemic conditions improve due to vaccination.

DiSano said a cost decrease is unlikely, because a complete return to normal is not anticipated by the time construction begins.

St-Amour said better vaccination programs in the US mean their steel industry could be operating more normally, and the relatively high value of the Canadian dollar lately means steel prices could stabilize.

“It’s not much, but it does help,” he said.