Construction on the horizon at the Vollmer Complex

By Devan Mighton – Originally published in the LaSalle Post on March 24, 2017

(LASALLE, ON) – After almost 10 years of service, LaSalle’s Vollmer Recreation Complex is due for some repairs.

A variety of items were approved at least week’s Council meeting in regard to the building, including renovations and the rental of ice.

Chief administrative officer Kevin Miller put forth a report to Council outlining plans to improve multiple features in and around the Vollmer Complex.

Areas of focus in Miller’s report include improvements to the reception area, adding storage space near the change rooms, installing automatic flushes to all washroom fixtures, replacing degraded counters throughout the facility, repairing or replacing tiles in the pool area and washrooms, the installation of a sliding door at the south entrance, repainting the main lobby, upgrading the building’s security system, replacing the rubber flooring in the public washrooms, and the replacement of parts of the brick façade.

Reduced

Miller stated in the report that the original budget for the façade was to be $500,000, but has been reduced after a company was retained to assess the work.

Only the top three feet of the façade is in need of replacement or repair, whereas the Town originally thought that most of it would need to go.

“As a result of that report, substantially less brick needs to be replaced, which has provided room in the budget to complete those items identified in this report,” wrote Miller in his recommendation.

After the proposed work was approved by Town Council, the contract for the façade restoration was awarded to Joe Lepera Construction, Inc. at a total cost of $84,507.05.

Money left over, which was green-lit for improvements to the Vollmer Complex in the last budget, will now be allocated to other fix-ups in the building – the most expensive of which will be $100,000 worth of modifications to the reception area.

“As a facility ages it goes through a variety of changes,” said Mark Masanovich, manager of facilities.

“Initially, ideas on how the building will function have been changed by the reality of everyday use.

“The ‘Boat Area’, main reception, has proved to be a busier place than anticipated and therefore increasing the office area in that area has been a priority for a few years.”

Ten years does not seem like a long time when it comes to a building, but the Vollmer Complex has proven to be a popular and well-used part of the community.

“The facility is starting to show its age,” added Masanovich. “With literally thousands of people using the complex on a weekly basis, it is important to keep the facility in good condition. The bulk of the improvements revolve around everyday usage: flooring, doors, painting, countertops, toilets, et cetera.

“In addition, technology changes, and improvements to the security system are warranted at this time. All of these objects mentioned have a lifespan and we are always working to keep the Vollmer a place that LaSalle residents can take pride in.”

Masanovich is not expecting any blackouts to the services provided at the Vollmer Complex, but in the coming months, you will find areas draped off as the construction begins and continues into the early summer.

“We are anticipating completing these projects before July 1 and are working right now to firm up the timelines,” said Masanovich.

Although, he did warn that an unrelated and soon to be announced construction project to refurbish the duct work and ventilation system may shut down the pool area from late August until early October.

Timelines for that project will be released in the coming weeks. Ultimately, by July, the Vollmer Complex stands to be in fine order.

“We are all looking forward to a refreshed facility in time for the summer months,” stated Masanovich.

Rental of ice and outdoor surfaces

The next issue approved by Council was a series of recommendations put forth by the Town’s culture and recreation department in regards to policies on the allocation and rental of the Vollmer Complex’s ice and the Town’s outdoor sports surfaces.

In regard to ice rentals, the policy divides allocations into usage categories, sets time block lengths to 50 minutes, and predetermines prime and non-prime time usage.

The different categories of users are also given different priority levels based on historical precedent.

Municipal activities, like public skating, are given top allocation priority, followed by minor sports groups, then the LaSalle Vipers hockey club, and, finally, adult groups.

“This policy was updated as part of a regular practice of updating policies and procedures,” said Patricia Funaro, interim director of culture and recreation.

“We appreciate that all of our ice users understand the challenges of scheduling and they are all extremely flexible with their schedules and work well together to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.”

Council also approved similar measures for outdoor surfaces, with minor sports groups getting priority, then adult groups.

“Any organized sport or activity is required to have a permit in the Town of LaSalle,” said Funaro.

“People using sports surfaces for leisure play are not required to have a permit. Those surfaces can be used on a first come, first served basis.”

The policy sets guidelines for local sports organizations like the LaSalle Stompers soccer club and Turtle Club baseball, but not recreational pickup games like tennis or basketball.

“People do not need to worry that impromptu games will be broken up,” added Funaro. “Permits are in place for organized sports to ensure that their surface is reserved and maintenance has been completed in time for them to play.

“The only time someone may be asked to leave a sports surface is if it has been previously reserved by an organized sport, or if sports fields have been closed due to weather conditions.”

All renters, on ice or outdoors, are also required to provide a certificate verifying insurance coverage of $2 million for their rental.

Town Council’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the LaSalle Civic Centre.

For the agenda and/or more information, please visit LaSalle.ca.

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