Gore businesses among successful tenders for redevelopment

Gore builders JC Builders 2020 has successfully won the tender to build Gore’s new library and community centre.

JC Builders’ (formerly Jones and Cooper Builders) tender was approved this week by the Gore District Council. The company is one of seven Gore businesses awarded over $2.1 million in work associated with the project. Subject to gaining building consent, work was expected to start early next month.

The project sees the transformation of the former James Cumming Wing hall and function rooms into a modern library and community space. The total cost is $7.935 million, a 16.3%increase from projected costs formulated almost a year ago.

Chief Executive Stephen Parry said market escalation was the main reason for the increase.

“The construction market is at capacity with abundant work, labour shortages, and multiple material price rises giving manufacturing and logistic headaches.

“All signs point to this buoyant market continuing in the foreseeable future, given the combination of housing shortages and large public projects, such as Invercargill’s CBD redevelopment.”

Some of the cost increase was attributable to design changes following last year’s community consultation and feedback from the Council, Mr Parry said.

“We’ve increased the size of the community foyer and storage area and the number of community toilets, among other things.”

Mr Parry said the project was still affordable. The Council would stay within its self-imposed 5% rate increase over the next decade by moving the upgrade of the old library building to Year 5 and Year 6 of the 10-Year-Plan.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks the cost increase was disappointing but a reflection of the current building market.

“We are in a situation where we need to make progress. Delaying this project in the hope we get more competitive tenders is a forlorn hope.”

Mr Hicks said there had been little room to make substantial changes to the design without impacting functionality and ignoring public feedback.

“I know $7.9 million is a lot of money. That said, the cost of this project is a lot less than other library/community centre projects around the country.

“It is the Council’s job to be fiscally responsible. In this instance, we can deliver an enduring community asset within our long term financial planning.”

Of the tenders approved seven were Gore District-based, 15 Southland-based and eight from outside the province.

Signal Management Group would manage the project. It has a long association with the Council, having successfully delivered projects such as the new Council administration building and Gore Aquatic Centre.

The Council has the following external funding for this project:

  • $3 million Government 'Shovel Ready' project funding
  • $958,000 Mataura Valley Milk development contribution
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