CONSTRUCTION work is expected to begin in June 2020 on a new, and larger than originally planned, amenities block at the Waratah Bay Caravan Park.
Instead of two showers and only two toilet cubicles, the new facility will now feature four toilets, a bathroom suitable for people with disabilities, a concrete apron for easier access and upgraded sewer infrastructure as well as the two showers.
This Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA)-compliant accessible bathroom will be the third to be installed at the caravan park.
South Gippsland Shire Council’s administration panel voted recently to vary an earlier contract approved for the simpler design, and to build a facility better suited to the number of people who stay in the caravan park, especially at peak times.
The present outdated block will be removed to make way for the new structure.
Waratah Bay Caravan Park manager Jimmy Harry said the new restrooms will be located at the northern end of the park and will serve the people camping in the bush sites section.
“It’s terrific that the shire is replacing the current toilet block and I’m sure the campers on the bush sites will be delighted once the caravan park is open again and the new block is built,” he said.
“When the park is full there are more than 100 people camping in the bush section.”
Mr Harry said that while the caravan park is closed until further notice for now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the park is already almost fully booked for the coming 2020/2021 summer holiday season.
“About 90 per cent of our guests are returns who come back and stay at Waratah Bay year after year,” he said.
Port Melbourne specialist building firm GR Design and Construct Pty Ltd was awarded the original contract in February 2020 to design and erect new toilet blocks at the Waratah Bay Caravan Park and at Coleman Park in Korumburra.
The combined lump sum contract was worth a total of $240,514, made up of $105,105 for Waratah Bay and $135,409 for Korumburra.
A budget of $343,107 to pay for the two projects was set aside in the shire’s 2019/20 Capital Works Program, with $102,593 left over as “spare capacity” to cover contingencies.
Some of the “spare capacity” funds has paid for further concrete access aprons and for sewer upgrades at both sites, and has allowed the shire to “revise the scope” for Waratah Bay and build the two extra toilet cubicles and accessible bathroom there.
A report provided to the panel acting as the council advised that GR Design and Construct had “costed the additional works [at Waratah Bay] at $85,551” resulting in a revised contract lump sum price of $326,065.
The report continues, “after a review of the preliminary designs, the contingency allowance was revised to $17,041.75 which allows Council to deliver the additional works at the Waratah Bay Caravan Park within the allocated budget of $343,107.”
Administration panel chair Julie Eisenbise and administrator Christian Zahra did not hesitate to endorse the improvements to the plans for both the Waratah Bay Caravan Park and Coleman Park’s five cubicle block at Korumburra.