15 October 2019
Build Upgrade Nears Final Hurdle
A major upgrade of the Gore District Council’s main administration building, which has been 10 years in the planning, faces its final hurdle next month.
Councillors will consider tenders for the project at a meeting on 19 November. Should the contract for the project be awarded, staff in the main office will relocate to the James Cumming Wing before Christmas.
The upgrade has been flagged in the Council’s 10-Year-Plan since 2009. The estimated cost is $5million.
Chief Executive Stephen Parry said the building was long overdue for some remedial work.
“The existing building has not been modified or extended since it was built in the 1960s, apart from the new Council chamber and foyer added in 1994.”
About 40 staff will take up temporary lodgings on both floors of the Wing. They will join Gore Library staff, who have been working out of the Wing’s hall since May after the discovery of black mould in their building.
Mr Parry said vacating both floors of the existing building would shorten the construction time by about four months, which is expected to reduce the project’s overall cost.
There were also health and safety risks to staff and the public to consider.
“Apart from the fact it just wouldn’t be feasible to operate from a construction site, there’s likely to be asbestos exposed and removed during the process.”
Subject to councillors accepting the tenders next month, the plan is for staff to start moving the last week in November. The offices will stay open for most of the relocation.
However, the main reception will be closed on Monday 2 December while customer service staff move. Other Council services will be unaffected. The reception will re-open in the James Cumming Wing foyer on Tuesday 3 December.
Council meetings will be held in the James Cumming Wing lecture theatre from next year.
Mr Parry said it would probably be about 12 months before staff return to their new offices.
“We appreciate the relocation will be a major inconvenience for our regular Wing hirers. We have been working with them and have offered to help them find new premises.”
There has been no negative feedback from users to date, he said.