Site Preparations Commenced

Things are looking a little different at the WAMA site with earthworks preparing the site for the commencement of construction to begin in the coming weeks.  Achieving this milestone is the result of all the hard work and planning from our dedicated project team.  

After an important 2-month phase of finalising the detailed plans for Stage 1, the contract to build with the head contractor Nicholson Construction was signed. This phase included the identification of significant cost savings through a detailed examination of the site, building design and specifications.

On-site works began on January 17 with the construction zone fence installed and earthworks commenced. Over 5,000 cubic meters of earth have been excavated. The main challenge right now is to achieve the required soil compaction level in preparation for the laying of the concrete slabs for the building, scheduled for late February.

At the same time the required background management work is well underway, with defining plans and processes, engaging sub-contractors and ordering of materials. Local suppliers are being used wherever possible.

Budget increases and cost cutting

With significant cost increases in the construction sector, it has been quite challenging to arrive at the budget to deliver the vision of Stage 1. This has required over $4m of cost cutting along with an increase in the overall budget from $9m to $10.6m. While this will deliver minimal impact on the vision, the project will require additional fundraising from the WAMA team and its supporting community.

WAMA Stage 1

WAMA Stage 1 refers to the $6.75m received from the Victorian State Government as part of the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund, to support the construction of a $10.5m facility including:

  • Art gallery, multi-purpose room and café
  • Access roads and carparks
  • Landscaping around the Gallery
  • Associated utility services

 

WAMA plans to be fully operational and open to the public early 2025.

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