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Late but on budget

The Waihinga Centre, under construction in Martinborough, is behind time but on budget. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

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Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre may be running behind time, but there is an upside – it’s not over budget.

The South Wairarapa District Council’s $5.3 million project was supposed to be finished in May, a year after construction first began.

But that deadline has been pushed out numerous times, with the end of October being the expected finish date.

Council chief executive Paul Crimp said the project had been “closely managed”, and the budget had not blown out, despite the delays.

“Overall, we are very pleased with the way this complex project has gone . . . [even though] there are delays which are unfortunate.”

He said a large, multifaceted project always had risks attached, and the council had mitigated these risks as best it could.

“Weather and materials supply have hindered this project.

“In terms of materials supply, this project has been undertaken during probably the biggest building boom we have seen.

“That said, yes, it was quite disappointing to have this delay, particularly at this late stage in the project.”

Crimp said, once finished, the facility would serve the community for many decades to come.

The Waihinga Centre is the restoration of the 1912 Martinborough Town Hall, with a modern extension that will contain the library, toy library, an i-SITE visitor centre and Plunket.

Councillors approved a total budget of $5.132m, with a $200,000 contingency, in January 2017.

Construction company Rigg Zschokke won the contract, with Dave Borman managing the project.

Borman said construction had so far been a success.

Ninety per cent of the strengthening work had been completed and the historic town hall had scrubbed up into a “beautiful old building”.

Original native floor boards and doors had been refurbished and some of the rustic brick walls remained exposed.

Borman said stepping inside brought on a feeling of nostalgia.

External landscaping, paths and terracing would be getting under way shortly.

Cedar battens would be the finishing touch on the new extension.

Borman said there was no one to blame for the delays.

“The making of the structural steel work has taken a lot longer than expected.

“Because of the amount of work and detail in that steel work, a lot of the joints and things have to be x-rayed, so everything is up to a very high standard.”

He said the job was being done properly, and that was the main thing.

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