The team that's raising money for a new Chatham-Kent Children’s Treatment Centre (CKCTC) is significantly increasing its request for funds from the municipality of Chatham-Kent.
On Monday, council unanimously approved an additional $1.6 million for the construction of the centre's new building. Council previously approved a $1.5 million grant in 2017.
The additional $1.6 million will come from reserves with half payable at the beginning of construction and the other half payable upon substantial completion of the new building on McNaughton Avenue West across from the St. Clair College Thames Campus and the return of the centre's current Lark Street building to the municipality.
The report notes that the new building was estimated to cost $28.5 million in 2017, but the cost has skyrocketed to $48 million because of inflation. The cost is also expected to keep rising if construction is further delayed. The start of construction has already been pushed to late 2022 or 2023 because of delays in securing provincial funding.
One positive outcome is that while the grant request has gone up considerably, so has the value of the current building on Lark Street. The municipality will take control of the lands and the building appraised in April at over $2.5 million in exchange for the $3.1 million grant.
"Administration met with Mike Grail, Chair of the CKCTC Building Campaign and Donna Litwin-Makey, Executive Director of CKCTC to discuss the current situation and receive the request for additional funding," wrote Quinton in the report. "Chatham-Kent will receive control of a property with an appraisal of over $2.5M, in exchange for the $3.1M grant, and the community will get a modern accessible 50,000 sq. ft. CKCTC."
A $1 million construction loan is also being recommended and the centre would have 15 years to pay it off at 2.5 per cent interest after the building is occupied. The children's centre would have to delay construction again without the loan and that would erode its purchasing power because construction inflation has been 5 per cent to 10 per cent per year recently.
All other terms of the original 2017 council grant approval are retained in the new agreements.