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News that the construction tender for the $18 million Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) has been awarded will be music to the ears of Whitsunday residents who have been missing their dose of live shows, concerts, musicals and theatre.
At the ordinary Council meeting in Cannonvale today, J Hutchinson Pty Ltd were awarded the $12.5 million construction contract for the PEC with the first sod to be turned in September and the facility expected to be completed by August next year subject to weather.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the on-going funding and historical issues identified after the PEC was damaged during TC Debbie had been especially frustrating for the Whitsunday community.
“It has been rocky journey and saga over a number of years as we went from an initial $500,000 insurance repair bill to a building audit report indicating that demolishing the old facility and building a new one was the best outcome for the community,” he said.
“This has also required increased funding and I advocated strongly for Federal and State Government support to ensure the state-of-the art entertainment complex has been fully funded externally.
“Getting local government, state government and federal government working together to deliver this funding has been challenging but all tiers have been positive in finding ways to deliver such an important regional facility.
“The project will create over 40 jobs during the construction phase and the contractor has committed to prioritising local tradies wherever possible,” Mayor Willcox said.
The overall $18 million PEC project includes demolition, project design & delivery management and construction, as well as the installation of a solar system to reduce annual operating costs, additional lighting and specialist theatre fit-out, construction contingency, Ergon costs for the undergrounding of power & removal of the current overhead power lines and a pole mounted transformer. Other measures will be implemented to ensure resilience and reduce annual operating costs.
The new facility will be built to a 9B building standard, provides 380 tiered seats and the design provides flexibility for up to 500 people seated indoors.
The open plan design also allows the key performance hall to connect seamlessly with a landscaped external space so that the capacity of the building can be further increased for outdoor events and annual ceremonies like Anzac Day.
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