McCorkell Constructions of Richmond has been responsible for numerous comparable projects, especially in the education sector in Melbourne.


MCCORKELL Constructions of Richmond have been awarded the $27.2 million contract to build the Cowes Cultural & Community Centre.

The successful tenderer, announced at this Wednesday’s council meeting, has a strong record of major and medium projects typically in the education sector in Melbourne, comparable to what is required at Phillip Island. See link

The long-awaited work starts in November 2021 and is due to be completed “early in 2023”.

Funding for the project includes $8.3 million in government funding; $5 million from the Federal Government’s ‘Building Better Regions’ program and also two grants from the State Government of $2.5 million and $800,000 from the ‘Living Libraries’ fund.

The facility will include a 250-seat performing arts theatre, flexible 400-seat auditorium, 450m2 library and 100m2 gallery among other community and council spaces.

A business case has established a benefit to Bass Coast of $76.4 million, creating 125 construction and ongoing jobs.

But the bulk of the funding will have to be contributed by the ratepayers, including repaying the $10 million low-interest loan from the State Government and an additional $8.9 million.

Intergenerational, sustainable project

James Stirton, General Manager Place Making at the Bass Coast Shire Council presented the project to council and recommended the appointment of the selected contractor:

“Thank you, Mr Mayor. I’m thrilled to present Council contract to 21008, which is to award the principal contractor for the redevelopment of the Cowes cultural and community Centre.

“This was a selective tender which followed a public expression of interest process earlier this year and meets all requirements in accordance with the Local Government Act. An independent priority auditor was also appointed and oversaw the tender selection process, made a tender evaluation report and probity auditor report provided as confidential attachments in line with Council policy.

“After this transparent process McCorkell Constructions are the recommended principal contractor to construct a new facility.

“The redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre is an intergenerational project for the Bass Coast community. Officers have worked in collaboration with the community, user groups, special interest groups and stakeholders to ensure the design meets the needs of the community for the lifetime of this building.

“The project principles have been guided and design the process and ensure the project is an architectural statement, environmentally significant, inclusive, flexible and responsive to the site.

“The project was first identified in the current Activity Centre Plan in 2015 as an opportunity for a civic heart in the middle of Cowes. Award winning architects Jackson Clements Burrows have designed a building that meets the needs of the community and stakeholders, provides an architectural statement in response to the local context.

“This will be Council’s most environmentally significant building. It will be a certified passive house construction and is in line with council’s Climate Action Plan and retains all existing vegetation on site.

“The new facility will boast a purpose-built performing arts theatre that will seat 250 people, a library of over 450 square metres, a dedicated Art Gallery of just under 100 square metres, a large multipurpose space that can accommodate up to 400 people, but also be divided off for intimate gatherings, and also provides both a large active frontage to Thompson Avenue, and a quiet courtyard space to the east.

“An independent economic impact assessment has been procured for this project, and has been updated since the writing of this report.

“The project is deemed to have $76.4 million worth of local benefits for the Bass Coast community and provides an additional 125 construction and ongoing jobs – the great local benefits that ensure that external funding has been obtained for the project from all tiers of Australian Government: $5 million from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, $2.5 million from the State Government Growing Suburbs. Fund, $800,000 from the State Government’s Living Libraries Fund and in addition to this $8.3 million of funding, a $10 million, State Government Community Infrastructure Loan Scheme, low-interest loan which interest rate is currently under 0.5%.

“Construction of the new facility’s program is to commence in November 2021, and to be completed in early 2023. I’m excited to present contract 21008 to Council for the construction of this intergenerational project and recommend McCorkell Constructions as the principal contractor.