Demolition of the dated Don Dale pavilion will move ahead despite a blowout in costs for a new building.
Upgrade plans were re-set in motion last night at the Katherine Town Council's last meeting of the year, but not without some scathing remarks against the architects in charge of the design.
Plans were put on hold in August as the council sought to rein in costs after it was asked to contribute a further $1.6 million to the now $7.13 million project.
The design was sent back to the architects in charge, Hames Sharley, to make some money-saving amendments.
The architect's re-design has lowered the building height from 1200mm to 600mm, removed the BBQ, covered walkways and carpark and has replaced stackable glass doors to the community centre with two single doors.
Council documents state the "redesign options have contributed significantly to reducing the overall estimated cost of the project, however it is still predicted that a further council contribution of approximately $800,000 will be required to progress the project through to construction in its current state."
While the council voted unanimously to support the motion and take the design to tender, the recommendation the council contribute $800,000 to the project was rejected.
"The community expects a building," alderman Peter Gazey said.
"I think the initial design went way beyond what we wanted. It was a big statement... I would prefer to see a design that doesn't include a council contribution."
Alderman Toni Tapp Coutts echoed the same sentiment saying the council would look "stupid" if it didn't move ahead nearly two years after the initial project announcement.
"We have money from the NT Government we have been sitting on for two years... The NT Government gave it to us in good faith... The consult has been extensive and the sport users agreed they want to move ahead," she said.
The Don Dale pavilion, built in the late 1980's, was slated for demolition in October of this year, but ongoing toing and froing has stalled the project.
Sportsground users were given their first glimpse of what the new facility would look like in May of this year, and were told by the architects in charge of the design, the original building "was not worth saving".
Alderman Jon Raynor said in August, some community members deemed the building design "a bit too flash".
"Right from the start the architects see money and have a dream. I am not sure if they were given a figure, but being $1.6 million over budget is ridiculous," Mayor Fay Miller said.
"I know the community is tired of waiting... we need to get a building built before June 30.
"We need to go out to tender. We do not have to accept it... we can see what we receive, we may only be looking at $200,000."
Principal architect for Hames Sharley, Adam Prentice has spent months working on the sportsground project and has carried out hundreds of discussions during community consultations in Katherine.
"There was an amount given and we achieved that," he said.
"Hames Sharley met the budget that was provided by the council on all occasions and fulfilled the brief on all occasions."
Council documents state elected members strongly support upgrades to Oval 2, and "as such the decision to separate the oval upgrades from the pavilion upgrades was made to allow the oval project to continue, unencumbered by delays in the pavilion project.
"This project is progressing with tenders to be released in January 2020 for the electrical package, followed closely by the civil works," according to council documents.
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