In 2020 the City of Victor Harbor decided to consolidate the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) and SA Whale Centre.
This change will see the VIC and the SA Whale Centre operating from one location at the Railway Goods Shed on Railway Terrace.
The former Railway Goods Shed has a prominent history within the town and became the headquarters for the SA Whale Centre in 1994.
With the council expecting to have the redevelopment completed in 2021, unforeseen complexities have now meant the project will take longer than initially anticipated.
A City of Victor Harbor council spokesperson said that once completed, the change to visitor services will allow for a greater investment into marketing Victor Harbor as a desirable holiday destination online, while still facilitating exceptional face-to-face visitor services provided by our passionate community volunteers.
"It is expected that these changes will achieve cost savings, eliminate duplication of services, increase our focus on promoting local tourism businesses and enhance digital experiences," the spokesperson said.
"As part of this consolidation, significant development has been required on the existing Railway Goods Shed on Railway Terrace to ensure it can offer a modern and interpretive experience that caters to the needs of Victor Harbor's 1.2 million annual visitors."
The complexities and challenges that now face the project are the discovery of termite damage and a previously unknown perched water table below the building that required significant re-engineering to accommodate a new lift shaft.
Other difficulties have included supply of building materials, sourcing of trades people and COVID-19 related absences across all stakeholders.
Despite the problems faced, a significant amount of work has already been completed, and the building works continue to progress.
Visitor Services volunteers have been provided ongoing updates throughout the project, with the next Visitor Services staff and volunteers briefing planned for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
A final completion schedule will be announced as soon as determined council stated.
While the project is being completed, Visitor Services staff and volunteers will continue to serve locals and visitors from the Coral Street Art Space.
"This exciting project will restore and celebrate this important asset," the spokesperson said.
"It also complements other projects to enhance Victor Harbor's central tourist hub, including the recent redevelopment of Railway Plaza and upcoming streetscape improvements to Ocean Street/Albert Place as part of the Mainstreet Stage four Upgrade.
"The Railway Goods Shed has significant historical value and is cherished by the Victor Harbor community."
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