Hazardous materials unearthed during the renovation of Bowral Memorial Hall have required Wingecarribee Shire Council to allocate an additional $850,000 towards the restoration of the historic Bowral building.
A report presented at Council’s Meeting of Wednesday 17 August 2022 detailed impacts necessitating an extension to the project’s original delivery deadline and budget.
The discovery of asbestos and lead dust during construction were cited as major contributing factors to the project’s reported variances. Additional structural issues found in the building’s footings, concrete slab and roof were also detailed.
The report, which was subsequently adopted by Council, recommended allocating the additional funds to support the delivery of the project.
Council’s Administrator Viv May PSM said the budget extension was unfortunate but necessary.
“No one likes to see a variation to a forecast budget,” he said. “It is not however unusual to run into unforeseen issues when renovating a 138-year old building.”
The initial forecast budget for the refurbishment project was $7.57 million.
Mr May said the unseasonal wet weather, COVID disruptions and shortage of skilled tradespeople had further exacerbated the restoration project.
“Council is pleased to report that the project team used the delays to re-examine and further fine-tune the project,” he said. “Together with input from key stakeholders they further modified the main stage design to better cater for unamplified music performances and improve performance acoustics.”
“This will enable even more artists and guests to use and enjoy the finished hall.”
Other improvements being carried out include the installation of a new roof and lifts, an upgrade of the kitchen and bathroom facilities and provision of access for all abilities. A new air conditioning system and sound and lighting equipment are also being included and the building’s heritage façade is being protected and rejuvenated.
“I’m confident that once renovations are complete Bowral Memorial Hall will be returned to its former glory and will be able to be enjoyed by residents and visitors for future generations.”
The refurbishment of Bowral Memorial Hall is anticipated to be completed by March 2023.