Construction of the Mid North Coast High Performance Centre (MNC HPC) a new multilevel grandstand, function room, amenities and sports training facility at South West Rocks is a confirmed reality with Council selecting a preferred tender Lipman Pty Ltd for construction, at the October Council meeting.
The almost $5m project began as a vision of the South West Rocks Sport and Recreation Committee, with broad support from local sports clubs and community groups along with major regional and state sporting organisations. The vision for the project was to enhance the amenity for local sporting needs, whilst providing the opportunity for high performance, junior pathways and larger events within the region.
Kempsey Shire Council’s Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, acknowledged it has been a long and complex project to move from community vision to a facility that is now designed, funded and able to be constructed.
“Council worked with the South West Rocks Sport and Recreation Committee to secure $2,465,268 in funding under the 2018 Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund. The South West Rocks Country Club have also confirmed a contribution of almost $400,000,” said Mr Fish.
“The original construction tenders far exceeded the available budget so we’ve worked over the past six months on a tender approach that could see the facility built in stages, enable design and construction technique efficiencies to be considered and allow exploration of alternatives for fit-out and labour to be sourced through the Country Club and local contributions.”
All three of the revised tender submissions to design and construct the facility required a contribution from Council to complete the project but did provide options for staging and exclusion of lower priority items in the initial build.
In awarding the $4.452M tender to Lipman Pty Ltd, Council also resolved to source the shortfall of $2.29M for the project, which in addition to tender costs provides for the cost of civil works to prepare the site and project management costs.
“The additional funds will come from a combination of $1.1M in grants from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, an estimated $750,000 from sale of Council owned land in South West Rocks and a further $440,000 from the Timber Bridge Program that has now been supplied by other grants,” said Mr Fish.
“The Councillors had a detailed discussion through the various options, including the possibility of not proceeding with the project due to the budget challenges.
“Taking into consideration that we would have to spend in excess of $1m in the coming years to just upgrade the existing amenities and canteen facilities for local sporting needs, the decision to go ahead with constructing the new purpose-built facility is visionary.”
The need for additional sporting and recreational facilities in South West Rocks, was identified in the Macleay Valley Sports Strategy (2017).
The Strategy found that South West Rocks has relatively low levels of sporting facility provision and that projected future growth would exacerbate this further.
Council will hold a value management workshop with key stakeholders to investigate further opportunities in the project delivery, including the possibility of contributions from suppliers to the Country Club and other Council resources to achieve the most favourable outcome.