ALBURY city councillor Darren Cameron has failed to overthrow a staff recommendation to award the art gallery redevelopment contract to Zauner Construction.
Cr Cameron stunned his colleagues on Monday night when he pushed for Joss Construction to have the contract due to its ability to complete the project quicker.
No one supported him and the council voted 8-1 to award Zauner the contract.
Joss believed it could have the project completed by October next year, but the council elected to go with the Zauner tender of $8.3 million which was $500,000 lower than the council’s budget had allowed.
“The sooner this facility is built the better,” Cr Cameron said.
“The longer it goes on the more potential for cost blowouts to occur.
“(Joss) believe they can complete the project in a much shorter timeframe.”
Cr David Thurley said the Zauner bid allowed council some flexibility in a complex project.
“We are talking about a rebuild and there will undoubtedly be unknowns discovered in the construction phase,” he said.
“It is good to have a tender to significantly under-budget.”
Zauner’s program will take about 12 months and allow time for a scheduled opening in June 2015.
Mayor Kevin Mack said the Zauner appointment was a milestone.
“Zauner’s submission meets the project requirements perfectly and comes in under-budget,” he said.
“Zauner has a great track record in delivering major projects and we’re thrilled to have them on board to deliver an art gallery that will become a cultural and tourism icon for the region and beyond.
“We’re also very pleased to be appointing a locally based company whose work will be well known to the community.
“Zauner built the Albury Library Museum in 2007 and more recently The Cube and WAVES swim centre in Wodonga.
The council will enter final negotiations with Zauner to start the project in February.
The total project is estimated to cost $10.5 million.