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Town hall and library plan could cost $49m

Masterton District Council’s preferred plans for its town hall, library, and municipal buildings have an estimated combined cost of $49 million.

Consultation on this new plan will bring an end to a period of limbo for the town hall after it was closed in 2016, when it was deemed earthquake-prone.

The plan is inclusive of a 30 per cent contingency and is based on Quantity Surveyor [QS] estimates.

However, the preferred plans, which are pending approval from elected members, do not include provisions to house the archives.

A report to Masterton District Council [MDC], which meets on Wednesday, recommends that councillors approve “preferred” and “alternative” options for consultation on the town hall and library for the Long-Term Plan.

The preferred town hall option is to demolish the town hall and municipal building, build a new town hall, and expand Waiata House, retaining the facade.

The estimated capital cost of this option is $38.67m. Of this, $1.63m would retain the facade, and $7.93m would extend Waiata House.

The alternative option for consultation is to demolish the town hall and municipal buildings [including the facade] and retain Waiata House and Queen St premises.

This is estimated to cost $3.35m.

Another option, which is not recommended to be put forward for consultation, is to demolish the town hall, build a new town hall, and refurbish the municipal building. This would cost $45.36m.

The options move away from the previously agreed Civic Facility project scope at the north end of town after this was costed at $71m, contingency-inclusive.

Councillors will also be asked to approve “preferred” and “alternative” options for consultation on the library and archives plan.

The preferred option is to upgrade and expand the library only, at a cost of $10.38m.

This would provide 440m2 of additional library space.

The report identifies risks with this option in that the current archive space is leased until April 1, 2025.

“At that point, MDC have a right of renewal for three years,” the report to council says.

“The final expiry is March 31, 2028. If the archive does not have a permanent home before this time, then it is possible that fit-for-purpose accommodation may not be found in Masterton and the archive is left without a home.”

The first alternative option for consultation is to undertake essential repairs and maintenance at a cost of $2.23m, which also leaves the archive with an uncertain future.

The second alternative is to upgrade and expand the library and archives at a cost of $14.15m.

This would provide 1080m2 of additional library and archive space.

The council report notes that due to the limited information available for each option at this early stage, the QS estimates are largely based on assumptions and benchmarked rates.

“Once an option is selected and the design matures, the costs will change as we know more and the risk profile changes.”

The council meets at 10am on Wednesday at Waiata House.


LDR is local body
journalism co-funded
by RNZ and NZ On Air.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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