Building a village on the hill

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GilchristLocal firm wins contract; could hire more staff when build begins in February

DANIEL.BIRCHFIELD
@oamarumail.co.nz

A local contractor has been selected by the Observatory Hill Retirement Village Trust to begin building Oamaru’s Observatory Hill Retirement Village
early next year.
Roger Gilchrist Building Services has won the tender to start construction of the $21 million facility’s main building, which will include accommodation, medical and meeting rooms, a restaurant, cafe, hairdressing salon, and other communal spaces.
Contractors may be on site before Christmas, while building is expected to start on February 1.
Observatory Hill Retirement Village Trust chairman Ken Scott said while the trust was impressed with all of the tenders received, he was delighted
the trust had been able to offer a contract to an Oamaru-based business.
‘‘I’m happy to say that the trust has decided we’re good to go and we’ve signed a contract with Roger Gilchrist Building Services to begin work on the
main building in the facility.’’
Roger Gilchrist Building Services quantity surveyor Luke Gilchrist said the company employed 12 staff and may now employ another six.
He was ‘‘absolutely thrilled’’ to be part of the project.
‘‘It’s unreal. We’re very glad to see it remain local and we’re really keen to get stuck into it. The use of a local construction company and local subcontractor is good to see.’’
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher, who is a member of the trust, was happy initial construction work would be undertaken by a local company.
‘‘As council’s appointee on the trust, I’m as pleased as anyone that the contract’s gone to a local builder,’ Mr Kircher said.
‘‘This is a really good project at this time. It will keep a good number of people busy for the next 18 months.
‘‘It’s come at a time when things have been quietening down a bit, but it does seem to be picking up for builders a wee bit. This will be a real shot in the arm for them.’’
He said locally-based subcontractors would benefit from the announcement, as would local suppliers.
Mr Scott said the first major task undertaken by the trust was to go through the tenders. The five-person trust, in the first year of a three-year term, is made up of Mr Kircher, former Waitaki District Health Services chairman Mr Scott, Anaro Investments chief executive Natalie Evans, Oamaru-based lawyer Michael de Buyzer, and Waitaki District Health Services board member Ian Hurst.