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New Council To Decide Next Steps On Civic Facility Project

23 May 2022

The next steps in Masterton District Council’s Civic Facility project will be a matter for the new Council, to be elected in October.

An extraordinary meeting of the Council tonight (23 May) approved complementary work, including a review led by an independent chair, to provide the new Council with information to enable a decision on next steps early in the new term.

The meeting discussed a reverse brief from the project architect in which costs for the proposed Civic Facility were estimated by the Quantity Surveyor at $57.14m, up from $30.8 in last year’s LTP consultation document. A recommended construction contingency of $14.2 million would lift this to $71.3m.

Civic Facility Steering Committee Chair Councillor Tina Nixon said it was important the new Council had the best information in order to make good decisions on the project.

“Our Quantity Surveyor has costed this brief based on the best possible facility we could build – one that would maximise its use by the broadest range of people.

“The Civic Facility team has worked hard to establish the user requirements of the facility and have that costed. The increase in costs and the emergence of the proposal by Masterton theatre groups means now is the right time to look again at what can be achieved and at what cost."

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said she hoped the new Council would continue to pursue the vision of a community hub at the north end of town, offering a strong connection to other public spaces and welcoming visitors to Masterton.

“A Civic Facility of this kind should be an asset that continues to serve generations to come – reflecting our mana whenua, and our district’s shared history, culture and community,” she said.

“I continue to believe this is an important project for the future of Masterton. This is an opportunity not without challenges, but it is one that should not be missed.”

In December 2020, after a tour of community facilities in the lower North Island, the Council voted to proceed with a civic facility that could include:

·        a flexi-form black box theatre

·        library and archives

·        information hub (Council services, i-site, box office, etc)

·        pre-function come exhibition space

·        suitable kitchen facilities to support the event space

·        meeting rooms.

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