The elements and coronavirus have combined to slow progress on Goulburn's performing arts centre.
But behind the scenes, things are happening with the help of a large crane dominating the Auburn Street skyline.
The crane was brought in by Zauner Constructions to help move equipment around the constrained site. The company is converting the former McDermott Centre and Town Hall into a $20 million 400-seat performance venue.
February's wet weather cast a three-week delay on the project. Heavy rain filled excavated ground and prompted pumping out. Total fire bans in December and January also set it back seven weeks, councillors were told this month. During the fires, Essential Energy staff were redeployed to bushfire areas and were unavailable to relocate power for the Performing Arts Centre. (PAC).
Coronavirus and the need for social distancing sparked a six-week delay. Some documentation, including finalisation of a second construction certificate, and costings from subcontractors were consequently held up.
The total project is expected to be completed by September, 2021, three months later than expected, a council spokesman said.
But council general manager Warwick Bennett says it's full steam ahead now.
"Once we get past the foundation work in the next month, we shouldn't have any more delays due to wet weather," he said.
Four concrete pours are taking place this month and into early July at the rear of the 1887 EC Manfred designed structure.
Operations director Matt O'Rourke said about 80 screw piles were being installed with the help of a 30-tonne excavator, as part of the foundational work. Cooler weather had slowed their drying.
Mr Bennett told The Post that there were a further 15 to go.
"In some places they had to go two to three metres deeper because the rock was further down," he said.
While Mr Bennett said this would not mean more money, Mr O'Rourke reported this month that it would have "some time and cost implications." A further report will go to councillors in July.
Once foundation work is complete, the crane will erect wall panels prefabricated in Canberra as part of the main structure.
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So far, $1,848,168 has been spent from the $18,950,000 construction budget. The $20m budget includes a contingency fund.
Meantime, the council has widened and sealed a rear lane off Montague Street to improve access for vehicles. Mr Bennett said this involved consultation with Property NSW, which managed the nearby Goulburn Courthouse.
"We may negotiate retaining that width so there is no conflict between the PAC and courthouse (traffic) going forward," he said.
On other fronts, the council has delayed appointment of a centre manager due to construction hold-ups. The post was advertised briefly last month but has been put on the back burner until August.
Councillors earlier said a centre manager was essential if the PAC was to pull in larger regional shows.
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