Next steps agreed for Civic Facility
Masterton District Council has agreed to get costs for two options for consultation on the next steps of its planned Civic Facility project.
The two options to be costed are:
Option 1 (Do the minimum required):
- no further work on a new facility, noting a legal requirement to address the earthquake-prone status.
- refurbish and upgrade the existing library and extend that to include the Wairarapa Archive and an information hub
- demolish the existing town hall and build a new performance space on the town hall site
- refurbish the municipal and civil defence buildings (end use to be confirmed).
The decisions move away from the previously agreed Civic Facility project scope of a new combined facility at a site at the north end of town and follow a quantity surveyor cost estimate for the project increasing from $30.3 million to $57 million, plus $14 million contingency.
The new options come following consultation earlier this year with the Masterton community that reflected the Council’s concerns around the affordability of the project.
“Rising costs not only saw delivery of this project becoming increasingly unaffordable, but it would also have put a burden on our ratepayers that outweighed the benefits of having a large, combined facility,” Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell said.
“We know how important a great library complex will be for our community, and we have heard many times from local and visiting performers about the lack of suitable local venues in Masterton, so we are looking at ways we can deliver both in a far more affordable way.
“We’ve created a Project Advisory Group to help redefine the project’s scope, with a strong focus on affordability, so we can go out to the community with costed options. It will be chaired by Deputy Mayor Bex Johnson and includes councillors, representatives from both Wairarapa iwi, and a couple of familiar names with David Borman and Toby Mills joining the team to lend their expertise to the discussions. Ultimately, all decisions around the project will come to the full Council.
“I’m keen to see this project move ahead swiftly if the community agrees. We will be going to the community to discuss options as part of our Long-Term Plan consultation in April and, following that, will decide our next steps. I encourage anyone interested in the project to have their say on the options we present when the time comes.
“It’s been a long time coming – but all of us at Council are looking forward to finally delivering on this for the people of Masterton if the community consultation gives us the go-ahead.”