Nanaimo’s Port Theatre is getting an upgrade to its heating-cooling system. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo’s Port Theatre is getting an upgrade to its heating-cooling system. (News Bulletin file photo)

Cost of new heating-cooling system at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre surpasses $1 million

Finance committee recommends spending $255,000 from climate reserve to increase project budget

Costs have gone up again on a new heating-cooling system at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre and the project is now budgeted at more than $1 million.

The City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee, at a meeting Dec. 15, recommended spending $255,000 from reserves toward replacement of the theatre’s natural gas-powered chiller system with a new electric heat pump system.

A budget of $211,000 was allocated for a replacement chiller project in 2020, but in March 2021, city council approved adding $500,000 to upgrade the system to a heat pump that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to an estimated $19,000 in annual energy cost savings.

When the city put the project to tender this fall, however, it received just one bid, at $910,000, with contingencies pushing the budget higher than $1 million.

“Fluctuating market conditions, supply chain delays, inflation and the impacts of the pandemic being noticeable, opinions of probable construction costs have become less reliable in establishing construction budgets,” noted a staff report this week.

The project is now budgeted at $1,042,000, an increase of $330,000, funded by a $75,000 Clean B.C. grant and $255,000 from the city’s climate action reserve.

The finance committee unanimously recommended the budget increase and funding sources.

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo replacing all the Port Theatre’s windows



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