Additional funding for St Patrick’s Square upgrade
Auckland City Council
25 July 2008
Additional funding for St Patrick’s Square upgrade approved
Last night, Auckland City Council endorsed an additional $158,000 for the upgrade of St Patrick’s Square.
The full cost increase of $608,835 was offset by the decision to remove St Patrick’s Cathedral lighting from the current project, while laying ducting to allow for lighting in the future.
Further cost savings could be achieved by changing the triangular patterned paving to a more standard pattern. This will be considered by the Urban Design Panel and CBD Board in the coming weeks.
The project budget has increased from $8.7 million to $8.9 million in total.
Councillor Greg Moyle, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, says the initial budget of $8.7 million was based on a cost estimate calculated during the project’s concept design stage.
“Costs became more accurate as the concept design progressed through to detailed design. Since the original cost estimate, there has also been an increase in the cost of professional services and a rise in the contingency sum needed for all of the council’s infrastructure projects,” he says.
CBD Board deputy chairperson Earl Gray says the St Patrick’s Square upgrade is a priority project in the 10-year CBD streetscapes and open spaces programme, which is largely funded through the CBD targeted rate.
"The board is in full support of the St Patrick's Square upgrade. The square is the only area of green space in that part of the city, and surrounding it is an increasing residential and office population. The upgrade gives a sense of destination to visitors, improves safety in the square and links to the streetscape and open space upgrade programme as a whole.”
"Although we don't usually support budget increases, in this case we understand the rationale," he says.
Mr Moyle says that the council is determined to achieve affordable progress for Aucklanders.
"The upgrade of St Patrick's Square is key to revitalising the CBD. We are trying to get value for money. We have reached a very good solution that ensures careful management of ratepayers’ money while delivering a wonderful new square for Aucklanders."
Located between Albert, Hobson, Swanson and Wyndham streets, the square upgrade includes three distinct yet connected water features, art works, new paving, lighting, seating areas and trees.
Construction is expected to start in August.
The upgrade is part of Auckland’s CBD into the Future strategy, a 10-year plan aimed at creating an urban centre that will attract a lively mix of business, residential and cultural activity.