THEY DIG IT: Paul Dougherty and his construction team with Clarence Village CEO Duncan McKimm, Dougherty Villa facility manager Charmaine Want and Clarence Village chairman Geoff Shepherd on the site of the extensions in Arthur St, Grafton.
THEY DIG IT: Paul Dougherty and his construction team with Clarence Village CEO Duncan McKimm, Dougherty Villa facility manager Charmaine Want and Clarence Village chairman Geoff Shepherd on the site of the extensions in Arthur St, Grafton. Tim Howard

Grafton builder lands $6.5M villa expansion contract

LOCAL knowledge has given a builder the edge in winning a $6.5million tender to add 20 beds to a Grafton aged care centre.

The owner of Dougherty Construction, Paul Dougherty, said having built stages 2 and 3 of Clarence Village complex in Arthur St gave him some valuable insights when it came to the tender process.

"For example I knew I wouldn't have to worry about finding rock on the site," he said.

"We've dug down 15 to 18m here when we did earlier extensions and we can be sure there's no rock here."

Mr Dougherty only signed the contract this month but already his team has been on site preparing it for construction.

Clarence Village CEO Duncan McKimm said he was pleased to be able to award the job to a local firm.

"Because of the job's size and complexity, we had our architects Thomson Adsett run quite a rigorous tender process with five companies they thought had the capability to carry out the works," he said.

"It's a great result that the successful tenderer was a local firm with a strong connection with Clarence Village and Dougherty Villa," he said.

"It's also a good demonstration that local companies are able to match it with the big boys.

"This tender was very complex and the build requires a lot of technical skill - it's really pleasing that the winning bid was put together by a local company using many local trades and suppliers."

Mr McKimm said this local knowledge had no doubt played a role in Dougherty Constructions being able to overcome some stiff competition.

"Dougherty Constructions literally knows our existing buildings inside and out, having built the last two extensions to the facility, so I'd say it's likely a case of local knowledge winning out."

The extension will add 20 beds to the facility, taking its capacity to 74 beds once the new wing is operational. Since it was constructed in the early 1990s, Dougherty Villa has been expanded twice to provide additional capacity and capability as the needs of residents have changed.

Clarence Village chairman Geoff Shepherd said the extension will add to the organisation's ability to service the needs of the ageing local community.

"As an organisation we're dedicated to making sure we're in a position to look after vulnerable members of our society. This extension definitely achieves that goal," he said.

"Dougherty Villa has been operating at close to capacity for many years now, so the board sees this project as a very necessary one in terms of adding to our capacity".

With construction works starting over the next month, the first residents are expected to move into the extension in September 2019.



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