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Council gets first look at proposed water treatment plant expansion design

‘This is your project. What you want, we’ll give you,’ says VP of AECOM, successful bidder for the project design
2021-07-26 WaterDesign JO-001
A preliminary design concept by AECOM and Ainley and Associates Limited for the Raymond A. Barker Water Treatment Plant expansion.

Do you have ideas for what you would like to see in the design of Collingwood’s water treatment facility expansion?

Make sure to get your thoughts together and get them in early.

On Monday, council got its first introduction to the engineers hired to design an expansion for Collingwood’s water treatment plant. AECOM and Ainley and Associates Limited were the successful bidders for the design project, and spoke at the July 26 council meeting – the last one before council’s summer break.

The water plant expansion design contract was awarded for $6.9 million plus HST, and includes design engineering, contract administration, construction inspection and supervision, and design liaison services.

Brian Sahely, associate vice president at AECOM, walked councillors through a preliminary design concept, but noted that at this point, everything is on the table and public input is encouraged.

The preliminary design concept includes a modern-looking building that includes the existing walking paths and a pedestrian area. Educational boards and fountains would be included as part of the design, as well as rest areas.

“People will want to go to this area,” said Sahely. “It would be a nice, iconic area.”

Coun. Deb Doherty asked if solar panels on the roof could be a possibility in regards to renewable energy. Coun. Yvonne Hamlin asked about the potential for the educational panels, and what kind of education items could be included.

Coun. Mariane McLeod asked about current users of the property who park where the building is slated to be built such as anglers. Sahely said the lot would be taken up by the building, but there are currently no plans to build out into the water.

“We’re going to have a lot of workshops with stakeholders and architectural workshops. We’re not set in stone on anything, so we’re open to all ideas to give you what you want,” said Sahely. “This is your project. What you want, we’ll give you.”

“Our only request is, as much as possible, let’s get everybody involved early. When it gets later on, it becomes too late to change. There’s a lower cost if we make changes earlier,” he said.

Sahely said he hopes everyone who has an opinion on the design of the water treatment facility participates in the process as early as possible.

“Whoever wants to get involved, bring them to the table. I encourage negativity. I encourage debates, because then everybody gets to hear what everyone’s thinking, and then we make a decision together as a team,” said Sahely. “We love healthy discussions at the beginning of projects.”

Collingwood’s water treatment plant is nearing capacity and in need of a $60 million expansion, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2025 or the beginning of 2026.

The expansion comes with added pressure as the town has put a temporary ban on new development because the remaining capacity at the water plant is not enough for the projected growth over the next four years.

The town expects to put out a request for construction bids in the spring of 2023. The expansion should be complete by the end of 2025/ beginning of 2026 and it’s possible there will be an additional chlorine tank installed as early as 2023, but that has not been confirmed yet.

Sahely said community consultation on the design of the project is expected to begin in September.

“This is a big project for our community, and we are looking forward to the discussions,” said Mayor Brian Saunderson.

A video of the preliminary design concept for the new plant can be viewed here.

- with files from Erika Engel

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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