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Town Hall revamp carded

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

A timeline has been laid out for revamping Masterton’s 100-year old Town Hall and Municipal Building.

While the price tag for the revamp is yet to be confirmed it is understood there will be public consultation on the preferred design in August.

The Town Hall was closed earlier this year in June, after an engineering report from Masterton-based structural engineers LGE Consulting found it did not meet required earthquake standards.

Some parts of the building are as low as 18 per cent of the building code.

Masterton council spokesperson Sam Rossiter-Stead told the Times-Age a range of options would be presented to the council in March.

These options would allow councillors to decide whether repairs or redevelopment would take place.

The council is planning to engage an architect in April next year, with any construction expected to happen throughout 2018.

The council has $2.5 million set aside for the strengthening of earthquake-prone buildings and any additional funding will be allocated through the Annual Plan process.

Mr Rossiter-Stead said the building would be modernised but the outer wall that gives the building its character, would remain.

“The facade, which was built following the 1942 earthquake, is the strongest part of the building,” he said.

“So that will remain.”

Since the Town Hall closed council staff have been working in the former ANZ building in Queen Street and in the Public Trust Building on Chapel Street/ Lincoln Road corner, however a few have remained working out of the northern end of the Municipal Building which passed structural tests.

Council meetings have been held in a variety of different locations around Masterton, including Waiata House, the Masterton Club,  Wairarapa Community Centre and Te Rangimarie Marae.

“The refurbished building will become the home of the council once again,” said Mr Rossiter-Stead.

“It will provide modern office space and facilities, as well as a new customer service centre for our residents.”

Also likely to return would be events – such as concerts, weddings and blood donation drives – which were held at the Town Hall prior to its closure.

It is hoped that the new facility will attract new events, Mr Rossiter-Stead added.

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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