Engineers who inspected Talbot Gardens and the Simcoe Recreation Centre say the buildings are in good shape and won’t cost a huge amount to maintain over the next 20 years.If Norfolk consolidates these facilities into a community hub, they will likely be closed and sold or demolished.For its part, the Adult Community Centre on Pond Street – home of the Simcoe Seniors Centre – needs help. A recent engineer’s report cites a long list of expensive repairs to bring it up to community-institutional standards.Were a community hub built in Simcoe, the ACC would likely be closed and sold or demolished as well.These conclusions are contained in a report that will be tabled at Wednesday’s meeting of Norfolk council.The 11-page report is among the last contributions CAO David Cribbs made to council deliberations before his resignation Jan. 15.The building assessments were performed by consulting engineers Peto MacCallum Ltd. Their report said “the overall state of Talbot Gardens is in good condition.” The Simcoe Recreation Centre is also “in good condition” while the ACC is “in poor to fair condition.”Cribbs’ report adds that demolishing Talbot Gardens would cost about $307,000. Demolishing the Simcoe Recreation Centre would cost more than $290,000.Demolishing the ACC would cost about $250,000. Each demolition, the report says, would take four months to complete.Peto MacCallum says expected repairs and replacements at Talbot Gardens will cost about $2.6 million over the next 20 years. Immediate repairs at Talbot Gardens this year are in the range of $39,000.Peto MacCallum estimates basic repairs and replacements at the Simcoe Recreation Centre will cost about $2.2 million over the next 20 years. Care and upkeep this year is pegged at $76,000.The ACC was constructed in the 1800s. For many years, it was a major manufacturing complex in Simcoe. The cost of care and upkeep over the next 20 years — $2.4 million – are in the same range as the other two buildings.However, Peto MacCallum says repairs to the ACC needed in the short term will cost about $1 million.“The review of visible elements indicated that the foundation walls appear to be in poor condition,” Cribbs’ report says.“Cracks, severe spalling, delaminated and broken masonry and active leaks were noted on the foundation walls in the basement and above grade too. (A) metal post supporting a cracked wood beam was noted in the south basement. A few inches of standing water was noted on the basement floor.”The report says the community hub concept “has the potential to be one of – if not the most significant — project in Norfolk County’s history.” Cost estimates range from $40 million to $60 million. Cribbs’ report says “it remains unclear if the current provincial government will be willing to contribute to recreational facilities.”For its part, Haldimand-Norfolk Health and Social Services notes that the Grand Erie District School Board’s reconstruction of Elgin Avenue Public School included plans for a daycare centre in this part of Simcoe.The daycare centre was put on hold last year when tenders for the reconstruction of Elgin Avenue PS came in several million dollars over budget.“This project is now on hold by the Ministry of Education for an undetermined amount of time,” Cribbs says in his report. “Should the project not be completed, there would be a service gap for licensed childcare and EarlyON services in Norfolk County – Simcoe specifically – that could be filled by including these services as part of the Norplex Hub.”According to Ministry of Education licensing guidelines, a replacement daycare centre must have the capacity to accommodate 10 infants, 15 toddlers and 24 pre-school aged children.Cribbs’ report was submitted by Bill Cridland, Norfolk’s general manager of community services. It will be considered during the public portion of Wednesday’s council meeting. Wednesday’s agenda also includes an in-camera item related to the community hub.This week’s meeting of Norfolk council will be held Wednesday instead of Tuesday because some council members are attending the annual meeting of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) in Toronto this week.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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