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Mayor issues statement on 'unfortunate' Guelph Police Headquarters renovation issues

City fired the general contractor on the project earlier this week
20200617 Guelph Police Headquarters KA
GuelphToday file photo

Mayor Cam Guthrie calls the Guelph Police Headquarters expansion and renovation issues “unfortunate” but an important step in getting the project finished.

Earlier this week it was reported that the city had fired general contractor Jasper Construction and is in the process of finding a new general contractor.

Jasper was let go due to “serious” contractual deficiencies in the work completed to date that had been identified but not rectified.

The city decided the general contractor was in default of their contract and removed them from the project.

“As your Mayor, I take this situation very seriously and can assure you that our staff does too. City administration has kept Council updated as events unfolded,” the Mayor wrote on the city website.

“Many of you are concerned about what the outcome of this decision will be. Personally, while the situation isn’t ideal, I see it as an important step for moving ahead and getting this project done.”

The Mayor made mention of problems Jasper Contracting has had on other projects recently. Projects in Sarnia and London have also had delays and issues.

The $34-million Guelph Police Headquarters renovation project broke ground in April 2016 and was supposed to be completed by spring 2019.

The city has admitted the project is now over budget although exactly how much has not yet been identified. A report will be coming to council later this month.

The city is currently in dispute resolution with Jasper.

The bonding agent on the project is in the process of hiring a new general contractor to complete the project and that is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks.

Earlier this week Deputy CAO Kealy Dedman told GuelphToday that parts of the building are not able to be occupied because of the deficiencies.

“The City of Guelph has rigorous project management processes in place, and there is extensive oversight on capital projects like this. These processes serve us well in cases like these and have helped us successfully manage and complete other major build projects like the Market Parkade and the Victoria Road Recreation Centre renovation. “These are the same processes that helped us identify the issues with the police headquarters renovation that we’re managing now. And these are the same processes that will help ensure the successful completion of future capital construction projects.”

“This situation is unfortunate,” Guthrie said, “we would all prefer this important project be completed by now. But I believe in our project management processes and our staff’s ability to make good decisions for our community. And that means that when we do finally cut the ribbon on this project, we’ll be doing so for a facility that we can all be proud of, and that will serve our community for years to come.”