Rebuild of council offices a better option

Council briefing states that strengthening the buildings ‘would carry risk’ and high costs.

Council briefing states that strengthening the buildings ‘would carry risk’ and high costs.

Proposed new council building
Gisborne District Council’s Fitzherbert Street Rebuild Project Information Package

STRENGTHENING the existing District Council buildings in Fitzherbert Street rather than a complete rebuild would not cost much less, and it would leave the council with a mix of buildings of varying ages that would cost more to maintain and operate than a new one, The Gisborne Herald was told in a briefing yesterday.

Programme manager for the rebuild Paul Naske said the successful request for the proposal presented by architects Chow Hill gave a figure of $7.8 million for strengthening the buildings compared to $8.47m for a rebuild.

The Herald also was told that contrary to some statements made, a detailed seismic assessment had been made of the 1954 building confirming it is earthquake-prone.

If a proposal for a full independent review of the decision to erect a whole new building was adopted, and this review took longer than two to three months, it would add at least $300,000 to the $1.5m allocated for temporary accommodation, which is additional to the $11m figure set down for a new building.

Strengthening the Lawson Field Theatre and Rose Room will cost a separate $1.15m.

The council will rent four temporary premises for staff — the Works Building and the one in Kahutia Street that they occupy at present — while the former BNZ building at 39 Gladstone Road will be used for customer services.

The council will also take a lease on levels 2 and 3 of the Emerald Hotel building.

As part of an extensive review of the building proposal ordered by Mayor Meng Foon, the council has posted an information package on its website that includes 26 frequently-asked questions and the council’s responses.

Mr Naske said two-thirds of the present administration centre, made up of three buildings erected in 1954, 1980 and 2001, is earthquake-prone.

■ See Gisborne District Council’s Fitzherbert Street Rebuild Project Information Package

An initial evaluation procedure for the 1954 building done by Strata in July 2011 indicated it was 33 percent compliant at IL2 standards and 19 percent compliant at IL4.

These ratings were confirmed in September 2011 and led to the formal notice for the council to vacate the building.

That was followed by the Opus report in 2012 that showed the 2001 building was earthquake-prone.

Four professional groups provided detailed costs to either strengthen the existing buildings to 67 and 100 percent of IL2 and IL4 or for a new building.

The cost to strengthen ranged from $7.86 million to $10.03 million and construction costs for a new building from $8.5 million to $10.2 million.

Chow Hill was appointed to develop a concept for the new building and its concept of 100 percent of IL2 and IL4 for a quarter of the building was approved at the council’s December meeting.

The council’s information package says that over the life of a new 50-year building, the cost to the ratepayer would be less. It also says that there is a high risk associated with strengthening.

Suppliers who submitted strengthening solutions wanted contingency funds, as they did not know the extent of the work required until they started the project.

During the expressions of interest process between July and October 2013, which preceded requests for proposals, nine professional groups considered the situation and a majority recommended the buildings were uneconomical to strengthen.

Mr Naske said the rebuild was scheduled to start with demolition of the buildings in July, or hopefully sooner.

The council was hoping that the cost of the temporary move would eventually cost less than the $1.5 million budgeted.

Gisborne Holdings Ltd would build the new administration complex for less than $11 million if it could.


STRENGTHENING the existing District Council buildings in Fitzherbert Street rather than a complete rebuild would not cost much less, and it would leave the council with a mix of buildings of varying ages that would cost more to maintain and operate than a new one, The Gisborne Herald was told in a briefing yesterday.

Programme manager for the rebuild Paul Naske said the successful request for the proposal presented by architects Chow Hill gave a figure of $7.8 million for strengthening the buildings compared to $8.47m for a rebuild.

The Herald also was told that contrary to some statements made, a detailed seismic assessment had been made of the 1954 building confirming it is earthquake-prone.

If a proposal for a full independent review of the decision to erect a whole new building was adopted, and this review took longer than two to three months, it would add at least $300,000 to the $1.5m allocated for temporary accommodation, which is additional to the $11m figure set down for a new building.

Strengthening the Lawson Field Theatre and Rose Room will cost a separate $1.15m.

The council will rent four temporary premises for staff — the Works Building and the one in Kahutia Street that they occupy at present — while the former BNZ building at 39 Gladstone Road will be used for customer services.

The council will also take a lease on levels 2 and 3 of the Emerald Hotel building.

As part of an extensive review of the building proposal ordered by Mayor Meng Foon, the council has posted an information package on its website that includes 26 frequently-asked questions and the council’s responses.

Mr Naske said two-thirds of the present administration centre, made up of three buildings erected in 1954, 1980 and 2001, is earthquake-prone.

■ See Gisborne District Council’s Fitzherbert Street Rebuild Project Information Package

An initial evaluation procedure for the 1954 building done by Strata in July 2011 indicated it was 33 percent compliant at IL2 standards and 19 percent compliant at IL4.

These ratings were confirmed in September 2011 and led to the formal notice for the council to vacate the building.

That was followed by the Opus report in 2012 that showed the 2001 building was earthquake-prone.

Four professional groups provided detailed costs to either strengthen the existing buildings to 67 and 100 percent of IL2 and IL4 or for a new building.

The cost to strengthen ranged from $7.86 million to $10.03 million and construction costs for a new building from $8.5 million to $10.2 million.

Chow Hill was appointed to develop a concept for the new building and its concept of 100 percent of IL2 and IL4 for a quarter of the building was approved at the council’s December meeting.

The council’s information package says that over the life of a new 50-year building, the cost to the ratepayer would be less. It also says that there is a high risk associated with strengthening.

Suppliers who submitted strengthening solutions wanted contingency funds, as they did not know the extent of the work required until they started the project.

During the expressions of interest process between July and October 2013, which preceded requests for proposals, nine professional groups considered the situation and a majority recommended the buildings were uneconomical to strengthen.

Mr Naske said the rebuild was scheduled to start with demolition of the buildings in July, or hopefully sooner.

The council was hoping that the cost of the temporary move would eventually cost less than the $1.5 million budgeted.

Gisborne Holdings Ltd would build the new administration complex for less than $11 million if it could.


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