Sandy Casselman
Villager Staff

EMBRUN – The township of Russell hosted a special meeting last week to provide council and residents with a progress report on the municipality’s recreation complex project.

“Welcome to another milestone of our recreation complex project,” director of parks and recreation Céline Guitard said. “This is another report where we will be presenting different concepts for the project.”

The June 8 virtual meeting began with a project overview by Colliers Project Leaders with a focus on two layout options for the two-storey complex. The bulk of the meeting was a discussion between council and the project team. Final decisions about layout – what is to be included and where it is to be positioned – will not be made until a follow-up special meeting in August. At that time, the capital, lifecycle, and operational cost model will be presented to council for a decision on the initial building components.

“We are now presenting the first draft of a potential layout of the facility to help us in our pricing exercise for this stage of the project,” Colliers’ senior project manager Scott O’Hearn said. “Once this has been reviewed and we’ve [gone] through some comments, we’ll move into the high-level capital and lifecycle and operational costs of the facility. Those will be high-level à la carte pricing, so each individual component will be priced separately so we can pick and choose a bit and help the council form some different layouts and costs to help inform those decisions.

O’Hearn’s PowerPoint presentation included diagrams, maps, photos, and charts. Council was shown two layout options, which O’Hearn said are similar in cost. The options were not shown as an either-or choice, but rather as examples of potential layout scenarios. O’Hearn said the layouts shown represent “the dream” of what residents identified on their wish list of desired components. The layouts will, no doubt, change once council sees the cost model and identifies what the township can afford to do, he said.

“It’s very hard to make an informed decision if we don’t have that,” Mayor Pierre Leroux said, referring to the cost model.

The final portion of the meeting was spent answering residents’ questions about the project. One such question concerned the tree canopy and what would be done to replace lost trees. It was noted that this would be looked at later in the project. There were also questions related to the library, survey demographics, and more.

More information about the Russell Recreation Complex Project, including access to documents shown during the June 8 meeting, can be found on the municipality’s website (