Work to build a new $1.5 million child and family centre at Avoca has gained a big green light.
At a special meeting on Tuesday the Pyrenees Shire Council resolved to award the contract to its preferred tenderer, Searle Brothers of Delacombe, paving the way for work to begin.
This was despite its failure to secure what had been perceived as the final $500,000 piece of the funding jigsaw for the project which seeks to replace the town’s existing outdated, light-deprived and asbestos riddled kinder, child and day care centre.
Yesterday, Pyrenees mayor Cr John Quinn said there was already sufficient funding to cover demolition and construction works with the Bendigo Bank contributing $60,000 toward the project, the shire delivering $150,000 and the state government also assisting.
However the additional state Childrens Capital Funding, which the shire still hopes to secure within the month, was expected to cover finishing details such as whitegoods, carparking and landscaping.
Cr Quinn said it was hoped works may begin within a month.
The successful contractor, Searle Brothers, is currently engaged to complete a capital works upgrade at Avoca Caravan Park.
“We didn’t want to lose this builder because he gave us a very good deal,” Cr Quinn said.
“We regard this project as vital for the future development of Avoca and when the new building is completed it should be quite splendid.”
It is anticipated that during the demolition and construction phase, the 50 or so families that use the old existing building will temporarily relocate to the Avoca Town Hall.
“We have enough funding to get rid of the old building and put the new one up,” Cr Quinn said.
“We are pretty sure that we will get our final plank of funding but if we don’t, or if it is late, we are still able to proceed.”
President of the town’s playgroup and member of the community project’s steering committee, Donna Wardlaw described the council’s latest move as “fantastic”.
“It is really positive and shows that the council is one hundred percent committed to the project,” she said.
“To have a purpose built centre that brings all of the maternal and children’s services together at the one site will bring great benefits for our community.”