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Brenex new Spirit Centre contractor

The Town of Westlock has hired a new construction company to take over the Spirit Centre project, but it will still be several weeks before a final budget and timeline are confirmed. Brenex Construction Ltd.

The Town of Westlock has hired a new construction company to take over the Spirit Centre project, but it will still be several weeks before a final budget and timeline are confirmed.

Brenex Construction Ltd., a Sherwood Park-based company, was awarded the contract Feb. 14, during a special town council meeting. Brenex has been in business since 1983, and has completed a wide variety of large-scale projects similar to this one, including the Barrhead Agrena.

CAO Darrell Garceau said Brenex won the contract based on a recommendation by Bearden Engineering, the town’s consultant. Brenex also had the best bid from among the five received, based on several criteria, said Garceau.

“They were the lowest (cost) submission, but also to validate it and qualify it, was the experience and expertise of the proponent to fulfill and complete the construction management component of the project,” he said.

The town was forced to seek a new contractor for the project after the original contractor, Balon Construction, was no longer able to live up to its end of the $12.6 million fixed-price contract.

Balon’s troubles began with a voluntary receivership order in October then culminated in significant layoffs in early February that affected the Spirit Centre project.

The town got a court order Feb. 9 allowing it to terminate the contract with Balon and to hire a new construction manager for the project.

The town’s request for proposals (RFP) to complete the project, which had a deadline of Feb. 8, got five bids.

Based on a variety of criteria, including various costs and fees as well as experience and expertise, the town’s consultant suggested Brenex was the best option.

“Bearden’s recommendation was based on the criteria, when you look at it and took into consideration the cost and percentage based on the estimated $7 to $8 million for project completion,” Garceau said.

He added Brenex will be paid a 3.5 per cent fee on that total, which means the fee will likely end up somewhere between $245,000 and $280,000

So far, the town has paid out $5.6 million for work completed.

In terms of a timeline, Garceau reiterated that until Brenex is able to award contracts for the various components of the facility that have yet to be completed, it is hard to say if the project will be finished by Sept. 15.

“Once they know the scope of work, have all the detailed drawings and know what elements and components need to be completed, then effective next week they will get busy to negotiate and seek out those contractors,” Garceau said.

The town is scheduled to meet with Brenex and Bearden this Wednesday, Feb. 23, but Garceau said he doesn’t think any firm timeline will be provided until April.

“By the latter part of April, we’ll have a really good understanding of the schedule and whether or not this project will be complete by the Sept. 15 target,” he said.

The town has also incurred some additional legal fees as a result of Balon’s troubles, but Garceau said so far the estimate on those fees is only about $3,100.





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