Ratepayers get glimpse of how community centre's shaping up.
Ratepayers get glimpse of how community centre's shaping up. Cathy Adams

Centre will be worth the wait

IT was the cost blow-out that had Lennox Head ratepayers talking – a whopping $1.5 million above estimates.

Now Ballina Shire Council has called on ratepayers to put aside any misgivings and get excited about the fast-rising Lennox Head Community Centre.

Paul Tsikleas, the council’s manager of commercial services, said the community centre, that will include a 500m{+2} library, a multi-purpose hall, three meeting rooms, a dedicated youth area, a children’s supervised care area, toilets, changing rooms and a kitchen kiosk, was something that locals could be proud of.

“This building is being constructed with the future and with local environmental conditions in mind,” he said.

Work done by Bennett Constructions to date had been exemplary, Mr Tsikleas added.

Completion of the centre is scheduled for early next year.

On Friday some of the scaffolding was taken down and mosaic work on the ventilation and storage towers started to transform the functional feature into a piece of art.

The intricate work is being done by tiler Michael Simmons, of Bangalow, who Mr Tsikleas described as an artisan.

Meanwhile legal action against the architects originally employed by the council continues.

Greenway Hirst Page, of Melbourne, was sacked by the council after major faults and shortfalls in the design were discovered.

These included problems with the acoustics, the roof and the type of gutters.

A further review found the water mains connections were incorrect, the toilet and exhaust systems did not comply with Australian standards, the air- conditioning system was poorly designed, the electrical switchboard was grossly undersized and the security system lacked detail.

These problems have since been rectified, said Mr Tsikleas.

Councillor Jeff Johnson called on the council to put procedures in place that would avoid a similar situation reoccurring: “All of the costs proved to be grossly under-estimated. My concern is that no action has been taken to avoid this happening again.”



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