25/02/2021 - 10:00

Builders win from $377m spend

25/02/2021 - 10:00

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Universal Constructions and Crothers Construction have won at least $180 million in school development contracts since the McGowan government came to power.

Builders win from $377m spend
Universal Constructions is completing $16 million worth of upgrades to Brabham Primary School. Photo: Universal Constructions

Universal Constructions and Crothers Construction have won at least $180 million in school development contracts since the McGowan government came to power.

That’s according to an analysis of major contracts awarded through the Department of Education and Training since 2017, which found the two companies had earned more than half the 20 largest school development contracts works awarded in that time.

Osborne Park-based Universal Constructions was by far the largest beneficiary in this time, earning at least eight contracts worth a cumulative $115 million.

Of those eight, three contracts worth $44 million remain ongoing, with $28 million of work at Caversham South Primary School and the construction of a new primary school at Aveley Main Primary School recently completed.

School development works are a primary source of income for Universal Constructions, which has built several private and intendent schools, including Salvado Catholic College, Emmanuel Catholic College, and Mundaring Christian College.

In addition, the company holds contracts across the public sector, including for construction of police stations, fire stations and trade schools.

The company ranks 24th on the Business News Data & Insights list of construction companies as ranked by total combined value of current projects in Western Australia.

Meanwhile, Crothers Construction, which has been awarded at least four school development worth a cumulative $65 million over the past four years, is currently undertaking at least $30 million of work developing Broome Senior High School and Baldivis South Primary School.

The Geraldton-based diversified construction business is also undertaking development of schools in Yanchep, Wanneroo and Darling Range, as well as work for Aquinas College and Nagle Catholic College.

Founded by managing director David Crothers in 1999, the business has primarily focused on commercial construction in regional WA with attention to projects in the Mid West.

Among its recently completed projects in the region are upgrades to Hakea Prison and construction of a community college in Carnarvon. It ranks 20th on Data & Insights’ list of construction companies and, like Universal Constructions, does not disclose the value of ongoing work.

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