Hutt budgets $22m for strengthening its buildings; considering options

Press Release – Hutt City Council
The Hutt City Council will next week decide between two options for earthquake strengthening of its administration buildings in Laings Road. The Council has made a $22 million provision in the current Long Term Plan for the earthquake strengthening project.

The Mayor of Lower Hutt, Ray Wallace, says various options were considered in developing a solution to meet the future needs of the council and Lower Hutt.

€œ”The first option retains most of the significant heritage features of the existing council building with redevelopment of the interior. The second option involves complete demolition of the current buildings and construction of a new building east of the existing site.

“€œBoth options are smaller than the existing administrative buildings with interiors able to be modified to meet different needs. We appointed a Project Steering Group including three senior councillors who worked with project managers RDT Pacific to develop the right solution for us.

€œ”I am very pleased with the rigorous approach taken in considering the best options.

“The detailed evaluation was against criteria which included public and staff safety, heritage issues and costs. We have gone to great lengths to ensure every aspect of this project was examined thoroughly.

“Possible changes to local authority governance arrangements were also taken into consideration in developing multi-purpose options. €œI believe the new development will serve Lower Hutt for many years to come,” Mayor Wallace says.

Public and staff safety was paramount in making the final decision, says chair of the project steering group, Deputy Mayor, Cr David Bassett.

“€œOther key factors included ensuring the final choice provides best value for money and the greatest long-term benefit to the city,” he says.

Cr Bassett said a separate proposal is also being developed for the Town Hall and the Horticultural Hall to make them more versatile in meeting community needs. Design work on the new structure would begin immediately following the council decision with a start on construction planned for early 2014.

The full report is available as follows

http://infocouncil.huttcity.govt.nz/Open/2012/12/HCC_11122012_ATT_EXCLUDED.PDF

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