SASKATOON, SASK. - Less than two years ago, ground was broken to make way for the Civic Operations Centre (COC), the new home for Saskatoon Transit and the city's first permanent snow management facility.
On Dec. 13 city officials marked the end of construction two weeks ahead of schedule and on budget thanks to the expertise and collaboration of a project team comprised of city staff and private development partners, a release reads.
"From the RFQ stage to where we are today, I couldn't be more impressed with the execution of the Civic Operations Centre project," said Jeff Jorgenson, general manager of transportation and utilities, in a statement.
"It's a compliment that other Canadian cities and municipalities will be looking at our city's first P3 (public-private partnership) project as a model of innovation and collaboration that will result in taxpayer value several years down the road."
Saskatoon Transit will move into its new 450,000 square foot facility in mid-January. The state-of-the-art facility is LEED certified, has 27 maintenance bays, a full body shop including a paint booth, indoor storage for 224 buses and administrative offices. It will also accommodate the fleet expansion expected over the next 10 to 15 years. In the interim, the unused space will be used for general equipment storage.
The snow management facility will also open this month and has the capacity to store up to 1 million cubic metres of snow on a 14-acre concrete pad. When the snow melts, the water will run through an oil and grit separator and into a melt water/stormwater pond. The water will then go through a series of specially designed baffle curtains before being discharged in a controlled fashion into the stormwater system.
The snow management facility will be operated by the City's Roadways and Operations Division.
To qualify for federal government support, the city entered into its first P3 with Integrated Team Solutions (ITS) through a competitive procurement process. ITS is a consortium led by EllisDon Capital Inc., Fengate Capital and including Kasian Architecture, EllisDon Corporation and Cofely Services.
"EllisDon is pleased to have partnered with ITS and the City of Saskatoon to bring the design and construction of this project to a successful conclusion," said Michael Kazda, vice-president and area manager, EllisDon Construction Services Inc.
"Safely delivering a quality project, ahead of time and on budget, requires a tremendous team effort that everyone associated with the new Civic Operations Centre project should be proud of."
The P3 approach is expected to deliver value for taxpayer dollars equivalent to $92.3 million over the lifecycle of the facilities — savings that could not have been achieved through a traditional design-bid-build model, the release reads. PPP Canada's contribution to the $154 million project is $38.5 million.
With city oversight, ITS led the design, construction and financing of the COC and will maintain the site and buildings over the next 25 years at which time the city will assume responsibility. At all times, the city will retain full ownership and continue to deliver services.
Mayor Charlie Clark called the centre a tremendous step forward for transit operations and for snow and ice management in the city.
"Our transit operations outgrew the old bus barns long ago and our staff have been making do in cramped facilities for many years," said Clark.
"This LEED certified facility...has perfect timing as we prepare to modernize transit in Saskatoon."
Interesting COC project facts
- 1,250 km of electrical wire pulled
- 9 km of fiber optic communication cable installed by SL&P — the largest installation by SL&P to date
- 122 km of pipe for heated floor in the transit facility
- 1,650 light fixtures
- 144,000 concrete blocks in the transit facility
- Heat recovery units were lifted on to the roof of the transit facility by helicopter
- Over 582,000 man hours worked with zero lost time injuries
- 94.5 per cent of construction waste was recycled
- 31,200 cubic metres of concrete in the snow management pad
- 12,101 cubic metres of concrete in the transit facility
- 135,000 cubic metres of dirt moved to level the site (cut/fill)
- 30,000 cubic metres of topsoil utilized for the berm construction