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December Report

Expansion Report December 2009

A familiar plaintive cry heard by many parents within 20 minutes of departure on a trip they know will take hours or sometimes days. The stock reply is “not yet” followed up by the “how long and soon” exchange.

I have been struggling to answer the “how long” for sometime as it seems I am in more meetings than I bargained for as I drive by the barren Rideau Canoe Club and wonder like many of you… Are we there yet? My answer to myself is not yet.

While to many it may appear nothing is going on I can assure you that the opposite is the case. The reality is that what hasn’t happened is the communication from me in this forum and for that I apologize, though rest assured that the Board has been regularly advised of the process and progress.

By way of analogy I would describe the process of the expansion as heavily invested in training for the big event (planning, engineering and revision) and the actual construction, while no small event, is a series of races and the prize is having everyone back in their home away from home – The Club.

We are now in the race phase of the build and you should start to see some fairly dramatic changes at the site. Steel has arrived for the front third of the floor that was removed during demolition. The floor decking should be completed by this coming week allowing for concrete placement that is to be scheduled, with footings for the new western deck and structural enhancements for seismic needs at the waterside storage bays.

The structural steel frame for the building that supports the building envelope is to be delivered by mid-January and erection should be completed by the end of January. Once the steel frame is up, other contractors are poised to commence the infill of the steel frame with metal studs and then clad with the roof and wall finishes within the first week of February.

Are We There Yet? No, we still have many more races to run before the no becomes a yes but I can say we are very fortunate to have the guidance of WAIDT Construction (Trevor Woodside) as we work our way through those races. 

Trevor has assigned Monte Pickard (Site and Trades Management) to get and keep the project moving. Monte’s knowledge, skills and ability, along with his affable good cheer, are a welcome experience on the project.

Equally, the staff at J. L. Richards and Associates has provided architectural vision, sound design advice and value engineering directed at keeping us on course. Brian Davies (Director and Chief Engineer), Marsh Frere (Architect), Alma Rahmani (Intern Architect) and our very own Bliss Edwards (Planner) know all the rules and present a path for success that is seamless and have been a pleasure to work with.

Our racing partner for the prize has been the City of Ottawa and we have been lucky on the draw. Councillor Maria McRae continues to work very diligently on behalf of the project and is updated weekly on progress via City staff. The all-star cast of staff is lead by Josee Helie (Program Manager, Recreation Planning and Facility Development), Renée Proteau (Project Manager Recreation Development), Paul Hussar (Program Manager, Design and Construction Architecture) and Ian Craig (Project Manager, Architecture).  Like any good partner they have been a friend, a mentor and sounding board when trying to maintain the vision and discipline necessary for a winning outcome.

We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated group working with and on behalf of the RCC and the Community. 

Are We There Yet? No, there are thousands of hours of more work by many dedicated people pending or if you prefer…  …soon ?.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Peter J. McBride
Expansion Committee Chair