PLANS for Bega’s new Civic Centre were formally lodged with the Bega Valley Shire Council planning department today by winning tenderer Hines Constructions.
Mayor Bill Taylor and BVSC acting general manager Leanne Barnes were on hand to sign the contracts with Hines Constructions executives.
The Bega Civic Centre is a two-storey building that features an auditorium seating 500 people, stage area and dressing rooms, commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, large foyer areas on both floors and new council chamber.
Most importantly, the construction will incorporate the existing Bega Town Hall.
The tender from Bathurst-based Hines Constructions and architects Facility Design Group worth $5.5million was accepted by the council in May (BDN 28/5/13).
Construction manager from Hines, Grant Bryan, is hopeful the DA will be passed soon and the 12-month construction period can start before the end of the year.
“If all goes to plan we hope to have the Civic Centre ready by Christmas 2014,” he said.
For Hines it’s already been a 15-month process since the first expressions of interest to today's DA lodgement.
“It’s a very exciting project for us, to be able to utilise the existing structure which we realise is very important to the people of Bega,” he said.
Both Mr Bryan and company director David Hines said they had spoken to many people in Bega throughout the tender process and developed a strong sense of the Town Hall’s significance.
“We feel the design retains the history of the Town Hall,” Mr Hines said.
“I spoke to people who told me how they had met their wife at a dance there, things like that, so they didn’t want to see it torn down completely.
“People are also very mindful of waste, as are we, and they don’t want their rates used to build something totally new where an existing structure could be incorporated.
“I think this building is the final piece in the jigsaw of revitalising the Littleton Gardens precinct.”
Mayor Taylor said the completed Civic Centre would be an asset to the community.
“It has been a lengthy process to get to this point, but now it’s great to be starting this final process in providing a multi-function community space for people living in and around Bega,” he said.
“The Town Hall was decommissioned in 2008 and since then the community has been without a central meeting place to host local functions and events.
“The new design will deliver all this and more to the community, with adaptable meeting and performance spaces, new council chambers allowing for possible expansion of the Regional Gallery into the existing chambers space, easy access, and a large function hall with a commercial kitchen. “I’m impressed by the plans and the potential to create the next link in the whole civic precinct providing access to community buildings, open spaces, and commercial and retail facilities all within easy reach.”