Civic building cost soars

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The redevelopment of the Gore District Council offices will cost over $1 million more than originally budgeted for.

The civic building will cost $6.1 million, but in the 2018 long term plan only $5 million was allocated to the project.

Chief executive officer Steve Parry said the $5 million estimate was about two years old.

“It’s pretty much an ageing process of two years’ worth of escalation,” Mr Parry said.

A project quantity surveyor completed an updated detailed market estimate, based on the working drawing specifications recently.

An extra $250,000 was added to the scope of the project after liaising with council staff, he said.

“Things like storage rooms which we need, a new water connection to Civic Ave because the existing one is dated, it was prudent to do it . . . microphones in council chambers, bits and bobs like that.”

The renovated Bowler Ave building would have an open plan office space extending over two floors, an extension over the existing southern car park, meeting rooms and a customer-friendly reception area.

The project was not expected to exceed its new budget, Mr Parry said.

“Any renovation project has some unforeseen, we think we have most of them covered. The only real issue we don’t know a lot about until we really rip into it is the asbestos and the extent of it.

“We have a contingency of $460,000-odd to deal with those unknowns and we’re quietly optimistic that we should be in budget.”

Lack of space, poor design, asbestos, earthquake strengthening and updating the interior and exterior of the building were driving forces behind the upgrade.

“It’s not fit for purpose.”

No money had been spent on the building in 10 years and the last additions were made 25 years ago when the council chamber and foyer were added.

The building was erected in 1960 for the Gore Borough Council.

The re-development was approved after council voted on it behind closed doors on Tuesday.

However, two councillors voted against the decision, he said.

Ajax Builders was awarded the building contract and six other Gore companies were contracted for components including joinery and roofing.

Signal Management Group, a Dunedin-based company, had a 20-year relationship with the council and would manage the project.

Mayor Tracy Hicks said with the project funded by loan, he appreciated there would be concerns about the level of debt.

“I can assure residents the council is being prudent about where and how it spends ratepayers’ money.”