Work on new centre begins in March
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.