HOPE, CELEBRATION, DISCOVERY, BELONGING
These four words guide the planning and development of the NEW Grandview.
Recently during a Zoom project planning meeting, Family Advisory Committee member Marilyn Robitaille had to turn off her camera. “I am sorry I had an emotional moment; I didn’t suspect when I was doing that rally years ago that I’d end up in a meeting planning the layout of the NEW Grandview. I realized just how much work went to get to this meeting, it’s surreal”, Marilyn expresses.
There is so much emotion and passion for the project that is evident when discussing the NEW Grandview Children’s Centre. It could be easy to get caught up in the “work” of all the planning for the new Centre, however, Grandview Children’s CEO Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann says the planning team makes a point to anchor every meeting and conversation to hope, celebration, belonging and discovery. “These words were deliberately selected as they resonate the most about how the children, youth and families we serve are reflected in the work of Grandview and how we intend to bring the strategic plan of Grandview, and importantly the values that have guided Grandview and been cherished by the community for 67 years, forward into the new facility”, Lorraine notes.
Meetings are occurring regularly and consists of members from Infrastructure Ontario, the Government of Ontario, Expert Consultants from B+H Architects and Colliers Project Leaders and Grandview Children’s Centre. The Project Management Team meetings open with the sharing of a “Grandview Moment”. These moments outline the stories of the children, youth and their family’s life experiences and the impact Grandview has had in their lives. This helps to ground all parties in the reason this new facility dream is so important to Durham Region families.
The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is a very significant milestone. At the end of this RFQ process, Grandview will have selected three teams to receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) and ultimately, one of those three will be selected as the finalist to complete the design and construct the new Grandview. This is a P3 project, which means the building of the new Grandview is guided by Infrastructure Ontario, partnering with the Government of Ontario, Grandview Children’s Centre and ultimately the selected team. Those who have been following the project funding will know the Government of Canada, and of course, many citizens, businesses and organizations across the Durham community and beyond are also key partners and supporters in funding the project.
There are several milestones ahead of us. The first is evaluating all of the potential teams that respond to the RFQ and then narrowing it down to the three most qualified to be able to design, build and finance this project. Those top three teams will then respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) targeted to be released at the end of March 2021. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it is going to take a village to build the new Grandview. There are many people, companies and organizations involved in this project. Grandview has requested that the team awarded the final contract to build the new Grandview source labour locally whenever possible for this project as we recognize the employment needs, and we are so grateful to so many in our community.
To summarize the timeline of this project, the RFP will be released at the end of March 2021 and throughout approximately six months following that, the design teams will put together their bid. Decision for teams will take place in Fall 2021 with this process closing in likely early 2022. Groundbreaking TBD. Fall 2021 will be RFP open period and unless it is purely ceremonial, it should be delayed. Construction is projected to start between January 2022 and March 2022, and that is followed by a two-year construction plan with a substantial completion between January 2024 and March 2024.
Although seemingly a major challenge to face, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided helpful insight regarding any required new infection prevention and control precautions to be considered into the planning of the facility. Lorraine mentions that “[working through a pandemic] has allowed us to review our project and make sure that the new Centre can flex, when we encounter another pandemic or health emergency and can avoid having to interrupt our services where possible”. In addition to flexible space, the new building will provide adequate physical space to do group work and other large gathering activities.
When asked to reflect on this RFQ release milestone in the life of Grandview as the CEO, Lorraine says, “I think that this is one of the most significant moments in Grandview’s journey in terms of watching this project move from a dream to a reality… [this milestone] is signalling to the market that it’s time to let Grandview know if you’re interested in being the team that bids to build the new Grandview… we are getting very close to handing the detailed planning over and asking someone to convert the words and our story into a final design”.
Hope, celebration, belonging and discovery are lifting and guiding us as we inch ever closer to the goal.