A special meeting was held on February 2, 2017 for Northam Shire councillors to consider tenders received for the construction of the Aboriginal and Environmental Interpretive Centre, and appoint the successful tenderer to construct the centre.
As all of the tenders received were above the anticipated construction cost of the centre, a comprehensive list of savings was identified by the architects and the builder to reduce construction costs.
These savings totalled approximately $480,000 and included 43 deletions or revisions of building components.
Cr Rumanjantsev, Cr Davidson and Cr Proud voted against the motion but it was carried 7/3.
Shire president Steven Pollard said tenders for the build came in well over expectations so subsequently the Shire has had to pare back a number of areas, but still leaving the project over cost expectation by approximately $700,000.
“We believe the project that will be delivered will still meet community expectations and be a significant asset to the region for many years to come,” Mr Pollard said.
Shire chief executive officer Jason Whiteaker said: “Negotiations over the final project sum include, but are not limited to, the deletion of some identified building components".
“In saying this maintaining the integrity of the building is viewed as paramount, hence the changes being suggested were being put forward in that context.”
FIRM Construction, whose tender was ranked as the most advantageous to Council in the evaluation assessment, was selected by Council as the successful tenderer, subject to negotiations over the final contract sum.
Construction of the centre will start this month.
It will be adjacent to the Northam Visitor Centre on the foreshore of the Avon River.
The Northam Shire says the centre will "offer an opportunity to blend Aboriginal knowledge and environmental programs to develop approaches to land management that incorporate traditional principles.”