The design contract for Cromwell’s long-awaited $16 million hall and events centre build has been awarded.

Christchurch-based firm Jasmax, working with Cromwell architect Jess Sutherland as its local architect partner, has been awarded the contract from a shortlist of two tenderers.

Cromwell master plan project manager Darren Penketh said the Central Otago District Council had received five submissions to the Cromwell Memorial Hall/Event Centre design and contract management services tender process.

“The submissions came from lead architects in the South Island, using local subcontractors to help deliver the project.

“We were very pleased with the interest shown in this project and the high calibre of applicants,” Mr Penketh said.

The evaluation process followed the council’s procurement policy and was reviewed by senior staff.

The tender evaluation team comprised the council’s property project manager, property officer and an independent qualified tender evaluator.

The two tenderers that scored above 70% were invited to present to the tender evaluation team. The project advisory group, which includes Cromwell Community Board chairwoman Anna Harrison and Cromwell Community board member and councillor Nigel McKinlay, sat in on the presentations.

Mr Penketh said Jasmax stood out “for both the team’s wealth of experience on this type of project, the smart way they do things and their collaboration with local partners”.

“Their presentation really wowed us and has us excited to get going on this project.”

Cr McKinlay said he endorsed the decision.

“We had two very good presentations but one of the things that stood out about Jasmax was the emphasis on the local, touching base and being local and listening to local voices.”

Jasmax project director Chris Jack said Jasmax was delighted to be selected to lead the project.

“We look forward to working alongside local architect Jessie Sutherland of SA Studio, WSP, Rhodes Consulting, Marshall Day and Entertech Theatre and Events Space Advisory to deliver a unique design that we hope will capture the hearts of locals and resonate with pride of place.

“The new centre is intended to provide a cultural heart, a place for creative expression, events, celebration and remembrance.

“This project is also about supporting local, and we hope there will be many opportunities for local businesses to participate in what will ultimately be a place of and for the people of Cromwell and Central Otago.”

The council and Jasmax are now working on a project delivery programme.