Work on new cen­tre be­gins in March

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

The multi-mil­lion dol­lar con­tract to build the new Matamata-Pi­ako Civic and Me­mo­rial Cen­tre, in Matamata, has been awarded and con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber.

Stan­ley Con­struc­tion was named as the pre­ferred con­trac­tor by the Matamata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil. The com­pany is ex­pected to take pos­ses­sion of the Tainui St site in March.

The coun­cil re­ceived 10 ten­ders for the project and five were in­vited to sub­mit de­tailed de­signs and plans.

While the bud­get for the project was $6.9m, the con­tract Stan­ley Con­struc­tion sub­mit­ted for was $5.4m, the low­est of all the ten­ders which met coun­cil’s ex­pec­ta­tions. The bal­ance of the costs as­so­ci­ated with the re­de­vel­op­ment in­clude de­sign, con­sent fees and tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The cur­rent me­mo­rial hall and some of the sur­round­ing build­ings will be de­mol­ished to make way for the new com­bined li­brary, of­fices and hall. The only ex­ist­ing part of the com­plex to stay is part of the li­brary, built in 1969.

Lim­ited li­brary and coun­cil ser­vices will be run from an ad­ja­cent tem­po­rary fa­cil­ity dur­ing con­struc­tion.

The new li­brary will be 50 per cent larger and lo­cated along­side of­fices for the build­ing control staff, cur­rently housed in the 1940s Matamata Bor­ough Coun­cil Cham­bers.

The new hall foyer will in­clude the Roll of Hon­our, which will re­main in its present po­si­tion, with a new pub­lic area in front and a re­heat kitchen for the hall be­hind. The ceno­taph will re­main.

The ex­ist­ing wa­ter fea­ture at the front of the build­ing will be re­moved and a plaque hon­our­ing the mem­ory of Peter Ge­orge Petersen, whose fam­ily be­quested the wa­ter fea­ture, will be re­lo­cated.

Con­struc­tion plans also in­clude pro­vi­sion to add a stage and an­cil­lary rooms to the de­sign, an is­sue which had been prompted by Matamata’s arts com­mu­nity.

Matamata ward coun­cil­lor Kevin Tap­pin had cam­paigned to in­clude the ex­tras in the plans in 2016 but did not man­age to raise the $1m needed for the ad­di­tions.

He said a part­ner­ship be­tween the coun­cil and a fundrais­ing com­mit­tee could come up with the funds.

‘‘I am hope­ful that some time over the next 12 months, dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the cen­tre, we will be able to raise the funds and build the stage.

‘‘If you look at Te Aroha, they had a part­ner­ship and a $500,000 grant from Sil­ver Ferns [to build an events cen­tre], that was the seed money, and that helped them in their ap­pli­ca­tions for grants.

‘‘That could hap­pen here if we can part­ner with the coun­cil and get that seed money.’’

Tap­pin said com­mu­nity groups which would nor­mally use the cen­tre were now find­ing al­ter­na­tive venues to run ac­tiv­i­ties this year.

‘‘The Red Star Coun­try Mu­sic Awards will be us­ing an­other venue this year, maybe a church hall, but it won’t be up to the qual­ity of the new cen­tre and not a long-term op­tion.

‘‘As a mem­ber of the Matamata Coun­try Mu­sic Club, we would prac­tise in the me­mo­rial cen­tre, run a club day and use its meet­ings rooms all in one month.’’

Pre­lim­i­nary de­signs for the Mata­mataPi­ako Civic and Me­mo­rial Cen­tre in Matamata. View from Tainui Street and view from main en­try ap­proach.

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