Aviation Museum construction to start

By Daniel Hughes

Cobram based company MS Constructions has been appointed to deliver the much anticipated Tocumwal Aviation Museum.

Berrigan Shire Council awarded the tender to the company following its council meeting last week.

It won the project with a bid of $489,609.

“The tender is for only for the hanger, concrete and mezzanine floors,” council's project manager Nathan O'Connell said.

“The entire internal fit-out will be done by the lessee.”

The lessees will be Tocumwal residents Karen and Matt Henderson, who say the costs for fitting out the museum are yet to be determined.

“It's pretty exciting for us (to be names as lessees),” Mr Henderson said.

“We've had our eye on the progression of the tender and for it to be approved and for us to finally start seeing some holes in the ground is a good milestone for the project.

“We have had time to design many ideas for the interior, but the next milestone will be the building construction.

“It is expected to be done by the end of the year.

“We want to have the whole project finished by late February or March next year.

“Hopefully the borders are open by then so we can have as many people as possible come and enjoy the history of Tocumwal aviation.”

Berrigan Shire received 11 tender applications for the project.

Each was assessed by a council appointed Tender Evaluation Committee.

To date, $683,000 in funding has been allocated to the museum project.

It is made up of Drought Communities Program grant funding, council contributions and input from Tocumwal Rotary and the Tocumwal Historic Aerodrome Museum Committee of Management.

Mr Henderson said additional funding will be needed to complete the project.

“For our plans for the interior of the museum we have budgeted roughly $150,000 and have applied for additional funding,” he said.

“All up I think the total project will be about $800,000, once all contributions have been considered and the interior finished.”

The Hendersons are drawing inspiration from other district museums, including The Depot Historic Vehicle & Memorabilia Collection in Deniliquin.

“We spoke to the team at The Depot about how to set out our layout and to develop a positive relationship,” he said.

“I believe there is a lot of potential seeing as though they are a vehicle museum and we will be an aviation museum. We aren't in competition.

“We want to be able to refer people there and for them to do the same.

“For now it will just be exciting to see some holes in the ground when works start.”