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Council To Agree Civic Facility Options

Masterton District Council will this week decide what options for the proposed civic facility to take forward for consultation, following feedback earlier this year.

The Council asked for a steer on the project as part of the Annual Plan consultation in April, with the public clearly indicating a preference to explore options for the existing town hall and library sites.

Following further direction from the Council in September, several options are now being presented for consideration in a paper to the Council on Wednesday (13 December). The paper will be available online on Monday morning as part of the Council meeting agenda.

The options being presented for agreement are:

Library/Archive:

  1. Do nothing (minimum option).
  2. Undertake basic improvements.
  3. Upgrade and expand library (including Wairarapa Archive).

Town Hall:

  1. Demolish the existing Town Hall and Municipal Building (minimum option).
  2. Demolish the existing Town Hall, refurbish the Municipal Building, and build a new Town Hall/ performance space on the same site.
  3. Demolish the existing Town Hall and Municipal Buildings and build a new Town Hall/performance space and Municipal Buildings on the same site.
  4. Demolish the existing Town Hall and Municipal Buildings, build new Town Hall/performance space on the same site, and expand Waiata House to meet the Municipal Buildings’ function.

All build options could support the retention of the existing Municipal Building Façade on the corner of Perry and Chapel Street. This component will be costed as part of the option costing.

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Chair of the civic facility Project Advisory Group, Deputy Mayor Bex Johnson, said she was excited by the options being presented to the Council.

“We originally were considering two options for this project: do the minimum, or improve the library and move the Archive to the existing library site and refurbish the Municipal buildings with a new performance space on the existing Town Hall site.”

“Then the team from Silverwood who are helping us work up options for consultation asked ‘Why constrain our thinking? Why not look at maximising our opportunities while keeping costs as low as possible?’ and presented the idea of moving the municipal building functions from the town hall site to Waiata House.

“I am confident that we are moving in the right direction, and I am genuinely excited to hear back from the community about these ideas.

“By separating out the functionality of the proposed civic facility into new and separate projects it gives us scope to stage building and development whilst using existing council assets to keep costs down and allows the opportunity flexibility as each project develops.

“There is still plenty of work to do, and we will not make any decisions without our community’s input, but I hope that people will be as excited as we are about the possibilities.”

Council Chief Executive Kym Fell echoed the sentiments of the Deputy Mayor stating, “Exploring innovative, cost-effective design solutions is imperative. In shaping our civic future, the goal remains clear: to establish accessible, inclusive, and affordable facilities that meet the diverse needs of our community.”

Following Wednesday’s meeting, any agreed options will be fully costed to form part of the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan consultation in April 2024, with final adoption in June.

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