Renovation of the West Gippsland Arts Centre could end up costing the Baw Baw Shire almost $775,000 more than expected.
This story was first published in the 5 July 2018 edition of the Baw Baw Citizen.
Works to increase main theatre capacity from 490 to 750 seats and upgrade surrounding infrastructure and facilities began early last year with a budget of up to $13.4 million.
Initial funding for construction came from the Victorian and federal governments, which contributed $4 million each, as well as the council.
The Baw Baw Shire, which owns and operates the venue, issued a media release last week announcing the redevelopment project was “on track for practical completion in August and handover to Council in September.”
However, buried half way through a large paragraph deep in the document was the revelation construction issues had forced costs up “in the order of up to $750,000.”
The Baw Baw Citizen contacted the council to confirm the figure and was told the “overrun” would actually be up to $773,137.
That figure could however end up lower, as 19 per cent of the increased contingency allowance is a further contingency allowance.
In numbers: a breakdown of where the extra money is going. Click on the image for a larger version.
A Baw Baw Shire spokesperson provided the Baw Baw Citizen with a breakdown of where the extra council money committed to the project will go. The chart on this page covers those figures, as well as the spokesperson’s explanation of each category.
The largest single funds category is $334,649 “required for the Architect and Consultant Contract.”
The remaining $438,488 has been broken down into six subcategories: client changes, further contingency, latent conditions, design oversight, design development, and compliance.
The project has encountered several unexpected issues during construction.
“Throughout the construction period a number of previously unidentified latent issues were discovered,” Baw Baw mayor Joe Gauci said in the media release.
“For example, additional fire protection works were required outside of the original scope and the existing internal stairways required modification.
“Council is working very closely with the builder, Building Engineering, to understand the detailed costs associated with these changes and to minimise the overall project expenditure.
“Next stages include theatre works, further finishing works such as joinery, fit-outs, painting and landscaping around the new forecourt area.”
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