Gunnedah Shire Council has selected the preferred contractor for the upgrade of the town’s pool, and works could turn on the project before the end of the year.
At Wednesday night’s extraordinary meeting, council resolved to choose a preferred tenderer from two submissions and will now enter into negotiations to refine the contract figure for the proposed works at the Gunnedah Memorial Pool.
“In selecting the preferred tenderer, council has reviewed the scope of the project and has looked to prioritise the various elements within the master plan for the complex, which will be further discussed with the preferred tenderer,” Gunnedah Shire Council (GSC) Special Projects Manager Mike Silver said on Thursday.
“It is anticipated the results of the discussions will be considered by Council at the August ordinary meeting.”
Council also moved to lodge an Expression of Interest to apply for grant funding under the Resources for Regions Program for stage two of the upgrade.
“It will be a 12-month construction period, anticipated to start before the end of this year,” Mr Silver said.
During the construction period, the 50-metre outdoor pool will be unavailable, however, the existing 25 metre heated pool facility will remain open.
In June, the Namoi Valley Independent revealed the long-awaited multimillion-dollar upgrade of the Gunnedah pool had been delayed by another year, after council was forced to re-issue its call for tenders.
It was yet another delay that left user groups fuming, but council insisted it wanted to get it right because ratepayers want value for money.
Council approved plans for the $7.8 million first stage of the Gunnedah Memorial Pool Complex upgrade – including a new 50m, eight-lane pool and new children’s play areas – in November 2015. A development application for a $14 million redevelopment of the pool, which sought approval for two stages – the $7.8 million first stage and a second $6.2 million stage, which was yet to be funded – was lodged in April, 2016.
User groups thought they were one step closer to their new 50m pool when GSC called for tenders for the first stage of construction in October, last year.
But the process only garnered one response, and GSC went back to the market in February this year to re-issue the call for tenders.
The delay pushed the expected completion date back from December, 2017, to December, 2018.
In June, Gunnedah Swimming Club president Brian Coombs said council was doing the right thing by finalising the specifics, early on.
“We’re looking forward to it being finished and hoping it is what they say it’s going to be,” he said.