THE identity of the architectural firm Orange City Council has selected to design the $7 million museum complex is being kept firmly under wraps, but concept designs could be released as early as next month.
Of the 60 organisations who expressed interest in the project when council put the call out on December 21, only 25 submitted applications.
But community and cultural services director Scott Maunder said he was pleased with the number and quality of applications.
The preferred tenderer selected by council staff was discussed at a closed confidential meeting with the museum working party last Monday.
At Tuesday’s council meeting it will be up to councillors to decide if the tender should be awarded, which Mr Maunder expects to happen the day after the meeting.
“We engaged with the working party so they are part of the process,” he said.
“We had really high-quality applications so it was a difficult decision which is a good problem to have.”
Mr Maunder said the selected firm was not required to provide preliminary designs as part of the tender but he expected concept designs to be released publicly by the end of March.
In a letter sent to the architects who submitted a tender Mr Maunder said the successful firm was yet to be contacted by council.
“Unfortunately I am not able to notify nor engage the successful tenderer until council has approved the recommendation at their meeting of February 19,” he said.
“I realise that this has an impact on the project timelines and I shall amend those in agreement with the successful tenderer.”
Mr Maunder told the architects council’s Regional Development Australia (RDA) fund submission had progressed to the next stage as one of three submissions from our region and one of about 12 in the cultural sector across the nation.