The Mount Gambier Community and Recreation Hub will progress to construction in coming weeks following the completion of the tender process and execution of the building contract, with BADGE Constructions awarded the head contractor tender.
City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said the signing of the contract is an important and exciting milestone towards the transformational project.
“With facilities that will cater for the entire community and provide a significant contribution to the economy, we are very pleased to have finalised the procurement process and look forward to construction commencing on site soon,” Mayor Martin said.
Mount Gambier deserves this, it is going to be a game changer for our city and after 30 years of our community asking for a facility of this type, now is the right time to invest in this project and finally get it started.- City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM
Following the competitive tender process, the contract value has been updated to $57.3 million of which $15 million will be funded by the Federal Government and $10 million from the State Government. A minimum of $22.9 million will be injected directly back into the local economy throughout the build.
Acknowledging the increase of the project price since the original estimate, Mayor Martin said $39.1 million was based on the intermediate design in 2018.
“The market response to the tender process has now determined the true build cost based on the detailed design.
“We’ve listened to input from the community and included refinements that have improved the hub’s functionality, flexibility and that will reduce whole of life costs while staying true to the community’s needs and aspirations,” Mayor Martin said.
“Industry-wide changes have occurred since the estimated cost was established, including changes to the building code and building fire safety regulations and of course COVID-19 has significantly increased the risk profile of the project. The updated figure also includes the necessary refurbishment of the 50 metre outdoor pool.
“We have made decisions to invest heavily in sustainability measures such as a fully electric heating and cooling system, supplied by solar power that, while increasing the capital cost, will reduce the whole of life costs - for example, the solar capacity will enable the electricity to be cost neutral within seven years of the expected 50 year lifespan of the facility.”
The additional cost will be funded by Council through borrowings at a low interest rate over a period of 20 years.
“Council is in a very good financial position to withstand the additional cost and service the loan, particularly with access to very low interest rates, and we remain committed to not increasing rates beyond the 4.5% outlined in the Long Term Financial Plan.
City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said the build will provide a huge boost to the local economy with the head contractor committed to achieving a minimum local spend of $22.9 million.
The robust procurement process ensured that Council not only secured the best value for money for the community but that the contract includes a large portion of local content, and this will provide a significant injection into the local economy at a time when it is needed most.- CEO Andrew Meddle
“COVID-19 has placed an even stronger focus on our health and wellbeing and has highlighted the value of investing in community infrastructure.
“We have been fortunate to secure an unprecedented level of financial support from the State and Federal Government, an amount never seen before in our region, and it’s now our turn to support their calls to help re-boot the economy.
“To prepare for a strong recovery from the current crisis, now is the time to invest in quality community infrastructure to strengthen our city as a regional centre and position ourselves to attract visitation and investment,” Mr Meddle said.
Following several months of tender review and assessment and weeks of final negotiations, BADGE Constructions was selected as the preferred head contractor.
“This is a unique build that requires a company with suitable experience with complex infrastructure. We congratulate BADGE on their successful bid and look forward to working with the team towards making our community’s aspirations a reality,” Mr Meddle said.
As a South Australian owned national builder, BADGE have been building commercial construction projects in Mount Gambier for more than a decade including UniSA, Mount Gambier Prison and Resthaven.
“It goes without saying that we are thrilled to be awarded this project,” BADGE Managing Director Jim Whiting said.
“Delivering important regional infrastructure projects gives us real opportunity to contribute to the local economy during the course, and provide long-lasting community impact with a quality facility.”
The contract allows for site handover to occur in coming weeks with the project anticipated to be completed in autumn 2022.
“We thank the community for their patience as we have taken the necessary time to conduct the tender process thoroughly and with the added complexity of a global pandemic,” Mr Meddle said.
With the tender process now complete investigation is underway to identify an operating model for the facility.
“Now that we have finalised the construction contract Council’s immediate focus will shift to securing a partnership for operating the facility that will best serve the needs of the community,” Mr Meddle said.
“Council maintains its commitment to ensuring the facility will be accessible for all, and affordability for all users including clubs and/or associations will be a key consideration during this process.”
Further information and updates on the project are available at www.haveyoursaymountgambier.com.au/CaRH and interested persons can now subscribe to a newsletter via the site to receive regular updates as the project progresses.