NEW-LOOK IGA WILL BE SUPER
Redevelopment to restart next week, with completion due by Easter
AFTER 16 months, work on Champion’s Supa IGA will continue.
With the tragic passing of the previous builder, IGA staff — and our community — were left in limbo as work was put on hold for more than a year.
While a carpark and basic structure were completed, works remained on hold as the structural integrity was assessed and tender was opened to another builder.
However Champion’s IGA said on Friday work is scheduled to begin on September 24.
‘‘The successful tenderer is Insitu Group of Clifton Hill, Melbourne who have a regional branch in Bendigo,’’ principals’ representative Joe Zurek said.
‘‘The company is experienced in the redevelopment and refurbishment of supermarkets. The redevelopment is expected to be completed before Easter 2019.’’
Champion’s IGA estimated that after the completion of building and the final fitout of the store, it would be open to the public in May.
Store manager Gerry Pickett said she and other staff at the store were lost for words after the announcement.
‘‘I can’t be more excited. It was an unfortunate circumstance which noone was expecting and saddened us all,’’ she said.
‘‘This delay hasn’t been easy on anyone — staff or customers — and it will be a big job moving the stock across to the new area.’’
Products will be moved to the new building extension while work is being completed on the existing structure.
‘‘The first stage of the build will be completing the rear carpark and loading dock,’’ Gerry said.
It is understood works will then begin on the main building, something Gerry said will modernise the store.
‘‘The people of Heathcote deserve to shop in a remarkable supermarket. We’ll have a larger range and more space for products,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s going to be something a bit out of the box for Heathcote.’’
Champion’s IGA estimated the supermarket will employ an additional 20-30 staff.
‘‘We appreciate that the interruption of the development has caused significant inconvenience to Heathcote residents and particularly to the staff of Champions who have endured a difficult work environment,’’ Mr Zurek said.
‘‘We look forward to the completion of the build and are confident Heathcote residents will be proud of what will be a completely new extended supermarket.’’
Gerry Pickett, Angela Freeman, Taylor Bigham and Brodie Reddin-Jowett stand in the construction zone that has been the IGA for the past 16 months.
An artist’s impression of how the supermarket will look.