Westmount Wins National Award for Municipal Innovation

Westmount, Quebec, has received national recognition for its Westmount Recreation Centre from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The City was presented with the 2015 Willis Award for Innovation, in the 20,001 to 100,000 population category, during CAMA’s national conference in Jasper, Alberta. Ravenhill Group Inc. is the sponsor for the awards.

“CAMA is pleased to recognize the innovation and administrative excellence demonstrated by the City of Westmount with their new recreation centre,” said Robert Hughes, president of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and Chief Administrative Officer for Stratford, PE. “The facility is an energy-efficient complex that integrates underground ice rinks beneath a green roof park space, an outdoor pool, multi-use rooms, and offices in a unique and context-sensitive design.”

The City of Westmount recently replaced its aging municipal arena and pool with a new and unique sports facility – the largest project ever in Westmount’s 140-year history, and a project incorporating, in essence, the world’s first underground ice rinks.

Completed in 2013, the 8,270 m2 Westmount Recreation Centre (WRC) is located at the edge of historic Westmount Park, and features 2 underground NHL-sized ice rinks with a green roof, a competition-standard outdoor pool and wading pond, 3 multi-purpose activity rooms, a teen centre, the Pavilion in the Park: a community café, the city’s sports & recreation administrative offices, tennis courts, numerous energy-efficiency features, and a storm water management system.

The City used a Design-Build approach for the $40 million project, which integrated design services and construction services into a single contract, giving the City the ability to establish a time frame and cost ceiling up front. Close monitoring throughout the 18-month long project, which began in summer 2012, was carried out by the City’s internal steering committee. The sports complex was delivered to citizens essentially on time and on budget.

The building’s innovative design, energy efficiencies and low operating costs have resulted in savings for the municipality and recognition from the construction industry and in municipal circles. The WRC obtained LEED®-Gold certification in 2015.

“With 57 applications received, this is the largest year ever for the CAMA awards program,” said Jake Rudolph, Chair of CAMA’s Awards Committee, as well as CAMA Representative, British Columbia & Yukon and Deputy City Manager, City of Abbotsford, British Columbia. “Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all those who took the time and effort to enter a submission.”

The Willis Award for Innovation, awarded in recognition of Jack Willis for his contribution to CAMA, is presented for programs, projects or services that demonstrate exceptional innovation or meritorious initiative. Since Canada has a unique mixture of small and large communities, awards are granted according to population – for municipalities under 20,000, for those between 20,001 and 100,000 and for those over 100,000. Certificates of Merit may also be awarded.

Source: Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators


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