The long-awaited demolition of the former Orange Base hospital is set to begin soon, following the signing of the contracts for the work.
Albury-based construction firm Zauner Construction, has been awarded the $3.4 million contract to demolish the buildings. Zauner has a 60 year family history of building throughout regional Australia.
Orange Mayor John Davis OAM is pleased that work can finally get under way.
“The community of Orange has been waiting a long time for this step,” Cr John Davis said. “There are many reasons it’s taken so long but it’s now tremendous to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mayor Davis said the decision to demolish every building on the site except the Ambulance Station has brought down the cost of the project.
“The initial idea, that was certainly worth exploring, was to keep the shell of the hospital tower to see if it could be converted into high-quality, multi-floor, residential apartments. There was no interest when we put that option out to the market.”
“Trying to demolish everything around that tower would’ve added to the cost considerably. Now, being able to clear every building on the site except the heritage ambulance station has kept the cost to an affordable level.”
Zauner Construction built the award winning Orange Regional Museum, which opened in November last year, and many other local projects including the CSU School of Dentistry and Student Accommodation projects.
Garry Zauner, Director Zauner Construction, said the company is looking forward to commencing the project towards the end of August.
“We are very happy to be working with Orange City Council on yet another major project for the Orange community, providing a transformed site in a key location in Orange.
The demolition is a complex job and will require the expertise and skills of the local contractors and surrounding areas.
Orange mayor John Davis also thanked staff at Health Infrastructure for their co-operation and patience during complex discussions over the demolition proposals.
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The demolition project is expected to completed early in the new year.
While all buildings on the site, apart from the ambulance station will be demolished, around 20 established trees around the site will be preserved.
Orange City Council reached agreement to buy the 2.1 hectare site from the NSW Government for $3.3 million in April 2015, with the government to set funds aside for the demolition. The contract, which was finalised in May 2016, included an agreement that the State Government would pay for the costs of the demolition.
Site establishment is expected to take around six weeks, while work will begin around the end of August. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed during the first quarter of next year.