Work to reinforce Martinborough’s historic town hall is well underway. PHOTO/WAIRARAPA AERIAL IMAGING

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

A mega highway under construction in Wellington has inadvertently slowed progress on Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre.
The South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) project has seen a slight delay as Transmission Gully has “sucked most of the reinforcing steel out of circulation”, SWDC chief executive Paul Crimp said.
“Not a significant delay, but it does show in projects like this can crop up that impact progress.”
Transmission Gully is a 27km four-lane motorway that will run between Paekakariki and Porirua, and will cut down commute times for people traveling between Kapiti Coast and Wellington.
It is scheduled to be open for traffic in 2020.

The Waihinga Centre will be a multi-purpose facility. PHOTOS/WAIRARAPA AERIAL IMAGING

The Waihinga Centre will be a multi-purpose facility. PHOTO/WAIRARAPA AERIAL IMAGING

Mr Crimp said the steel shortage had impacted many projects around the country and, in Martinborough, it meant there had been some delays in concrete works at the Texas St site.
Weather had also impacted the project’s progress, but construction team Rigg Zschokke had done “a good job at minimising the impact” of both these issues.
The Waihinga Centre project involves the restoration and extension of Martinborough’s historic town hall to create a multi-purpose community hub.
Its completion is expected to be around May next year.
“It is all pretty exciting actually, most of the work to date has been carried out in the hall itself which you can’t really see from the outside,” Mr Crimp said.
Construction of the extension was now well underway, with the pillars being erected and more visible works on the go.
“In terms of costs and funding, we are confident we will meet the financial benchmarks set at the January council meeting, with revenues and expenses within targets.”
At the beginning of the year councillors signed off a total project price tag of $5.332m, which included a $200,000 contingency.
Councillors also agreed that any additional costs over that budget would not be funded from rates, with any required funds to be generated through cost savings and additional fundraising.
Project Manager David Borman said the job was going “exceptionally well”.
Most of the strengthening of the existing town hall had been completed, he said.
The timber beams were now going up for the new building, which would house the library, a toy library, i-SITE visitor centre and Plunket, as well as meeting rooms for other community groups.
“Everyone is performing very well on the site and its ticking over as we expected.”