Valmar building to open after Easter

Valmar Support Services CEO Hugh Packard at the Valmar (former Tumut RSL) building, which is likely to get up and running after Easter.

The new Valmar Building is likely to open after Easter after a series of setbacks prevented the intended opening time of January.

Valmar CEO Hugh Packard said that at the moment Valmar is aiming for an April 1 handover, when they will be able to start moving in.

“Realistically, coming out of Easter might be more like it (the opening time),” he said.

Mr Packard said the project, the transformation of the former Tumut RSL Club building into an office administration complex, has hit three major obstacles on the road to completion.

“There were three major hold-ups,” he said.

“Firstly the lift was shipped from Europe, and that took somewhat longer, the next was that we had one company who was going to do the air conditioning and the day before they were due to start they withdrew from the job. They didn’t actually give a reason, they just said ‘sorry we’re withdrawing’.”

The third and most obvious reason was the recent bushfire crisis.

“We lost nearly a month of work, because everybody just disappeared because of the fires,” Mr Packard said.

With all this taken into account, he is happy with the progress of the project.

“Being three months behind on a project this size; I’m not too unhappy,” he said.

“The plasterers are pretty much finished, the painters are starting next week, the air conditioning is almost done, the wiring just needs to be wired back to the switchboard which is still coming.”

The portico needs a roof and there is cementing to be done, but all the windows are in, the ducting is done, and the lift is working, although though it has not been cleared for use yet.

Features that weren’t part of the original plan have also been added.

The Tumut Honour Roll and other RSL memorial elements will remain intact. 

“I’m quite optimistic that we will make the time frame,” Mr Packard said.

“We’re getting pretty close.”

He is glad he doesn’t have to take on a project of this magnitude every year.

“There are so many elements to it,” he said.

“Some decisions have had to be made on the run.”

There likely to be an open day at the building in May, where the doors will be thrown open to the general public.

When the project is finished, the final cost is likely to be in the vicinity of $2 million.

“The cost will only be as much as a nice house in Sydney,” Mr Packard said.