SOUTH-WEST Victorian companies will be given preferential treatment in tendering for construction of a multi-million-dollar headquarters for an employment-training agency.
Westvic Staffing Solutions will limit applicants to those within the region’s six municipalities who employ local apprentices.
“We think it’s important for the local economy to have local tenderers,” principal accounting officer Dennis Farley said.
“There have been a lot of inquiries already and a project like this will stir the construction industry along.
“We will be issuing invitations to tender soon, limiting it to firms which maintain an operational base in south-Victoria with capacity to build a project of this scale.
“Preference will be given to firms who have a history of engaging Westvic apprentices and have an intention to use Westvic apprentices on the project.”
Westvic bought the old Koroit Street ambulance station in November 2011 for $1.27 million, after a seven-year search, to construct two-storey headquarters and space to sub-let.
Mailors Flat contractor Brant Murrihy is completing demolition of the 1950s building and work on the new project is expected to start by November for completion before July.
“We are excited to finally get to this stage,” Mr Farley said.
“The money will come out of our own reserves which we have built up over 29 years of operation.”
Mr Farley said Warrnambool architect Guy McLeod had designed a building to complement the neighbourhood where heritage buildings, Ambleside and the former The Standard offices are on either side.
“It will be known as the Westvic Centre and have parking space for 34 vehicles,” Mr Farley told The Standard this week.
“Local tradesmen and volunteer labour built the former ambulance station in the late 1950s.
“The original station and superintendent’s residence was designed by a Tag Walter of Warrnambool, but much of this was later obscured by extensions.”