We have not been in contact with you since the positive Environment Court judgement and this note is to update you on the work that has been going on behind the scenes, our hopeful timetable for the build and a very exciting announcement of support.
As you are aware the decision to our Resource Consent application, approved on 25th July 2016, was appealed, and the case went before the Environment Court. A little under a year later, (and an additional $90,000), the appeal was disallowed, and we were at last able to move on with the project. We have been busy working with our engineers, architect and 2 quantity surveyors to ensure we can present a high quality building at a realistic cost to the community. This has taken time and some arm wrestling but we are now expecting our final QS quotes on 11 April which if acceptable, will enable us to put our funding applications into the relevant institutions. During this period we have also kept these institutions abreast of our progress and I am pleased to advise that they have all continued to be very supportive.
The funding bodies such as the Central Lakes Trust (CLT), Otago Community Trust (OCT) and Lotteries Commission require a detailed building budget before they can approve a grant, so our architect, Alistair Madill and engineers BMC have worked to advance the plans to a state where a realistic and accurate costing can be determined. The major unknown in pricing the construction has been the ground conditions, so coordination with our engineer and geotech experts has been ongoing.
Due to the complexities of the site, the Trust decided to work with a preferred contractor rather than go for competitive tendering. Because of its size and experience with large commercial projects, Breen Construction Ltd was appointed, and quantity surveyor Maltbys was engaged to ensure that there was independent pricing. Both QS pricings were received by mid-November 2017.
In November, the Trustees met with our experts to discuss possible areas for cost savings and we were pleased with the exercise and optimistic that on the 11 April we will be in a position to proceed with funding applications.
The Trust has meanwhile gathered letters of support from the Mayor Jim Boult representing QLDC, Mount Aspiring College, Rachel Cassaidy (Youth Councillor), Challenge Wanaka, the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, the Wanaka Rowing and Lake Swimming clubs, and various others. The Wanaka Rowing Club has provided a letter acknowledging its position as anchor tenant and we have drawn up a business plan for the Trust's operation of the facility.
Now that we have a tail wind we are confident the Trust will be ready to apply for building consent towards end of June which would generally be granted within a month if there are no concerns noted. By that time we will have a good indication whether or not our funding application round has been successful. If all this falls into place we would expect that construction could begin as early as October 2018.
The most exciting news is that our first funding application to the Sargood Trust has been successful and we are $50,000 in credit for the building. We are extremely appreciative that the Sargood Trustees have our confidence in this long term Wanaka asset project.