Facelift at last for Peel St toilets

NEW TOILETS: Images from Gisborne District Council (clockwise from top left) show the proposed Peel Street male toilets, “typical” handwashing facilities and two views of the female toilets. The images of the taps and art work have been described as “indicative”. Their final appeareance will be fine tuned in the next few weeks, says council contracts and asset manager Garrett Blair. Image supplied

THE planned $400,000 upgrade of the Peel Street toilets will start in December after Gisborne District Council’s community development and services committee approved architectural designs yesterday.

The council decided in May to upgrade the toilets and spend $400,000 in the 2017-2018 financial year, subject to the designs being approved by the committee.

Bill Burdett, an enthusiastic supporter of retaining and upgrading the Peel Street toilets, said he was pleased to move the recommendation to approve the designs.

The external fabrication and footprint of the building will not change, as the complex is protected by an Environment Court order.

Some councillors expressed concerns that there were no exact costings in the recommendation before the committee.

Committee chairman Andy Cranston told The Herald there had been objections and challenges, including from himself, over the $400,0000 sum.

But it had been approved and budgeted and was now part of council’s formal process.

“Because of that, it is not the time to try to reduce that amount, which is essentially a changing of our minds and further stalling of the matter.

“As long as we are within the approved and allocated amount, we need to get on with it and hopefully not have another summer of ‘Peel St toilet issues.’ ”

Amber Dunn said she strongly opposed spending $400,000 on a toilet, but asked if the design allowed transgender people to use it.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said she had transgender cousins who liked to use the female toilets.
Separate transgender toilets were not required.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she loved the colours in the design, but wanted an art piece that reflected the Tairawhiti navigations project and “our stories” included.

Layout unchanged

Architectural designer Shane Kingsbeer said the layout had not changed since it was first proposed to the committee in February.

The wall of urinals inside the men’s facilities would be removed and replaced with a pair of wall-hung urinals.

The number of WCs would be reduced from three to two with an accessible WC.

The female facilities would result in WC numbers being reduced from four to three, with one wheelchair-accessible WC.

The changes would provide a better layout, including a storage room. The handbasins would be moved to the southern wall, with an increase in bench space.

“We are proposing to re-establish the access view through the men’s facility for crime prevention and safety reasons,” Mr Kingsbeer said.

Opening up the wall would also allow better ventilation and remove the odour.

Mr Kingsbeer said the Peel Street toilets now had a range of different materials for the fixtures, bench space and partitions.

That made it difficult to clean to a high standard, which resulted in foul odour and a significant amount of vandalism and graffiti.

The upgrade would change internal surfaces of the walls and partitions to Corten steel.

That would allow for a surface that could be cleaned easily and made removing graffiti easier.

Wall-mounted fixtures

The wall-mounted fixtures, made of durable stainless steel, could also withstand significant vandalism and contrasted with the Corten.

“The tapware will be changed from what you see in the concepts to something that is vandal-proof but still be visually appealing and will match the overall design.”

Mr Kingsbeer said polished concrete floor would allow cleaning to be of a higher standard.

Earthquake strengthening would be completed to lift the building to above 67 percent new building standard.

The upgrade would provide the building with better lighting, better view shafts from the outside and better layout.

Tender applications are expected to close in October, and work will start in December.

The upgrade is expected to take between four and six weeks, given the footprint is remaining the same and the work required is an internal fit out.

THE planned $400,000 upgrade of the Peel Street toilets will start in December after Gisborne District Council’s community development and services committee approved architectural designs yesterday.

The council decided in May to upgrade the toilets and spend $400,000 in the 2017-2018 financial year, subject to the designs being approved by the committee.

Bill Burdett, an enthusiastic supporter of retaining and upgrading the Peel Street toilets, said he was pleased to move the recommendation to approve the designs.

The external fabrication and footprint of the building will not change, as the complex is protected by an Environment Court order.

Some councillors expressed concerns that there were no exact costings in the recommendation before the committee.

Committee chairman Andy Cranston told The Herald there had been objections and challenges, including from himself, over the $400,0000 sum.

But it had been approved and budgeted and was now part of council’s formal process.

“Because of that, it is not the time to try to reduce that amount, which is essentially a changing of our minds and further stalling of the matter.

“As long as we are within the approved and allocated amount, we need to get on with it and hopefully not have another summer of ‘Peel St toilet issues.’ ”

Amber Dunn said she strongly opposed spending $400,000 on a toilet, but asked if the design allowed transgender people to use it.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said she had transgender cousins who liked to use the female toilets.
Separate transgender toilets were not required.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she loved the colours in the design, but wanted an art piece that reflected the Tairawhiti navigations project and “our stories” included.

Layout unchanged

Architectural designer Shane Kingsbeer said the layout had not changed since it was first proposed to the committee in February.

The wall of urinals inside the men’s facilities would be removed and replaced with a pair of wall-hung urinals.

The number of WCs would be reduced from three to two with an accessible WC.

The female facilities would result in WC numbers being reduced from four to three, with one wheelchair-accessible WC.

The changes would provide a better layout, including a storage room. The handbasins would be moved to the southern wall, with an increase in bench space.

“We are proposing to re-establish the access view through the men’s facility for crime prevention and safety reasons,” Mr Kingsbeer said.

Opening up the wall would also allow better ventilation and remove the odour.

Mr Kingsbeer said the Peel Street toilets now had a range of different materials for the fixtures, bench space and partitions.

That made it difficult to clean to a high standard, which resulted in foul odour and a significant amount of vandalism and graffiti.

The upgrade would change internal surfaces of the walls and partitions to Corten steel.

That would allow for a surface that could be cleaned easily and made removing graffiti easier.

Wall-mounted fixtures

The wall-mounted fixtures, made of durable stainless steel, could also withstand significant vandalism and contrasted with the Corten.

“The tapware will be changed from what you see in the concepts to something that is vandal-proof but still be visually appealing and will match the overall design.”

Mr Kingsbeer said polished concrete floor would allow cleaning to be of a higher standard.

Earthquake strengthening would be completed to lift the building to above 67 percent new building standard.

The upgrade would provide the building with better lighting, better view shafts from the outside and better layout.

Tender applications are expected to close in October, and work will start in December.

The upgrade is expected to take between four and six weeks, given the footprint is remaining the same and the work required is an internal fit out.

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