Mar 29, 2016

Next stage of aquarium cemented in place

Next stage of aquarium cemented in place

There’s something fishy about FKG Group’s latest Cairns construction project.

The contractor has started preparing floor slabs for multimillion-litre tanks that will form part of the new Cairns Aquarium and Research Facility.

FKG Group has the $37 million turnkey contract for the main construction component of the $50 million project on the corners of Lake, Florence and Abbott streets.

The new aquarium will be a three-level facility on 7500 square metres which will feature exhibits housing more than 15,000 fish, animals and plants.

FKG Group operations manager, construction Barry Smith (left) said the project was on track for an April 2017 completion.

“We are currently pouring reinforced concrete foundations, lift and escalator bases and floor slabs to large exhibit tanks,” he said.

Mr Smith said FKG Group would be looking to employ local subcontractors and suppliers wherever possible as it advanced the project.

“Mainly the finishes trades will be tendered in the upcoming months including, roofing, glazing, ceiling and partitions, flooring etc,” he said.

“Generally subcontractors from the local trade base are approached for their participation.”

Mr Smith said about 40 people were on site in late March including reinforcement fixers, concretors, formworkers, plumbers and electricians.

Once the foundations are complete, work will start on the aquarium’s specialist tanks – to be built with acrylic panels sourced from Italy.

Mr Smith said the panels were manufactured to precise dimensions and would be craned into place through openings cast into the reinforced concrete frame of the building.

The panels would then be sealed together using hi-tech sealants and the interior of the tanks waterproofed.

The FKG Group is also due to commence work shortly after Easter on the new Cairns Performing Arts Centre

The Queensland company was awarded the $53.3 million contract to build the centre, which will be a key component of ‘the Precinct’ performing arts and community hub.

Artist’s impression the new Cairns Aquarium