Subcommittee appointed for gallery redevelopment

Working drawings for the $4.8 million redevelopment of the Forrester Gallery could cost $400,000 to prepare, but the Waitaki District Council on Wednesday shied away from spending that at this stage.

Instead, it appointed a Forrester Gallery redevelopment subcommittee which will look at that cost, along with raising funds for the project - the aim being that most of the redevelopment cost will come from grants, donations and fundraising, not rates.

The subcommittee is made up of Crs Pam Spite, Rod Bidois, Peter Garvan and Jim Hopkins, but could also include representatives from groups with an interest in the gallery, and council staff support.

On Wednesday, the council considered three recommendations from its community services committee, which included setting up the subcommittee but also commissioning architect John McCoy of McCoy and Wixon Architects Ltd and providing $400,000 to prepare working drawings and itemised costing of the project.

That money would have come from endowment funds, not rates.

However, councillors decided not to consider the two recommendations involving preparing working drawings and spending the $400,000, instead just approving the subcommittee.

Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said setting up the subcommittee should come first before the council considered the other two recommendations.

Councillors had only just received a report outlining the cost of preparing working drawings and, he felt, that should be considered by the subcommittee with recommendations coming later to the council.

Cr Gary Kircher was uncomfortable with the council deciding now to spend $400,000 which would "not buy a single nail".

What was needed first was more certainty from the subcommittee about where funding would come from and, more importantly, that costs would not increase.

Cr Hopkins said there was no need for working drawings at this stage, but material needed to be prepared which could be presented to funders to see if they were interested in sharing in the cost of the redevelopment.

Cr Alistair Mavor had an open mind on the redevelopment, but before money was asked for, something more than just an idea was needed.

The report on the cost of preparing working drawings said $400,000 would cover the working drawings, itemised costing and tender document preparation.

The cost included architectural services, mechanical (including plumbing and drainage) services, electrical services, civil, structural and fire engineering, quantity surveying, hydrologist advice, site survey, disability audit, energy conservation and efficiency audit and initial work by a project manager.



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