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Green Light For Library And Art Gallery

Marlborough district councillors gave their approval today to begin construction of the new Marlborough District Library and Art Gallery in High Street, Blenheim.

Mayor John Leggett said it was a great feeling to finally sign off the project.

“A lot of people have worked very hard to get to where we are today. The list of people I want to thank is long – this has been a community effort supported by the Council and also central Government.”

The Mayor said a project governance structure was established two years ago to manage all of the project’s risks.

“I’m very pleased to say that those risks have been resolved and the remaining matters are manageable.”

“Capital funding has been secured to cover all of the construction costs, with the Council committing $15m and the art gallery almost $5m. The Government allocation of $11m from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has helped us fund over half of the project construction costs,” he said.

“The Government funding will be split 75% to the library and 25% to the art gallery, reflecting the building’s shared footprint.”

“Concept designs, land ownership, construction costings, future operating costs and furniture, fittings and equipment (FFE) for the library have all been resolved. The gallery has some work to do over the next two years to secure funding for its own FFE and annual operating costs.”

Property and Community Facilities Manager Jamie Lyall said the project was tendered locally, with one tenderer within the Council and independent quantity surveyor’s pricing estimate.

“I’m very pleased to say that Robinsons Construction Limited has been awarded the contract. Robinsons is a long-established company with an excellent reputation, having completed many high profile commercial buildings in Marlborough over the years.”

A project control group was formed with Council and Millennium Art Gallery Trust representatives two years ago, tasked with preparing an architectural concept and progressing the land purchases. Warren and Mahoney were appointed architects after a public expression of interest process and were commissioned to develop a concept design.

A dawn site blessing will take place on Wednesday 19 August, led by iwi representatives.

The library and art gallery project was initiated in 2013 as part of the “Growing Marlborough – A Strategy for the Future” process, which identified that library facilities in both Blenheim and Picton were no longer adequate. Community consultation was carried out as part of the 2015-25 Long Term Plan and again as part of the 2018-28 Long Term Plan, where approval to progress the development was given. Picton’s new library and service centre was completed in 2017.

For further information go to: https://www.marlborough.govt.nz/our-community/marlborough-district-libraries/blenheim-library-and-art-gallery-project

A display showing the new designs can also be viewed at the Marlborough District Library in Blenheim.

© Scoop Media

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