Arts centre final costs still unknown
Final costs or budget overruns for the West Gippsland Arts Centre redevelopment may not be known for two years.
Council announced in June there had been an unexpected budget blowout of $759,000 with the project.
At the time, council said it was negotiating with the contractor Building Engineering about the increased costs.
Council blamed an old building and unforeseen works for the extra costs, admitting the contract’s contingency for extra costs was possibly not high enough.
The redevelopment project initially had an expected re-open date of July. But additional works and delays have continued to push back the opening.
The building will be now handed over to council on October 31.
But deputy mayor Danny Goss said the continued delays did not necessarily equate to additional costs.
Cr Goss said the cost overrun included a $250,000 contingency which had not been exhausted.
“The final cost of the project will be confirmed at the conclusion of the defects liability period - 24 months after the final handover date,” Cr Goss said.
Fourteen shows have been cancelled or rescheduled because of the ongoing delays.
Acting chief executive officer Mark Dupe said it was difficult to quantify loss of revenue from these shows because essentially audiences had still purchased tickets for the rescheduled or relocated show.
“We’ve incurred operational costs of doing business associated with hire of extra equipment and hire of other venues.
“Costs incurred with delays are being managed within existing operating budgets. We expect the majority of these costs to be recouped through increased revenue from demand for the arts centre after re-opening,” he said.
Mr Dupe said the final costs of delays and rescheduling will not be completed for a number of months.