Annual Plan 2022 – 2023: Civic Centre Upgrade

Civic building and chambers

Project Summary

We sought community feedback on two options - a partial or full upgrade - as part of the Long Term Plan 2021 - 2031. With 55% of respondents submitting their preference for the full upgrade, in June 2021 Council approved proceeding with the full upgrade of the Civic Centre.

Due to escalating costs across our infrastructure projects, we've had to rethink the timing of this upgrade project to ensure what we plan to do remains affordable for the community.

Background

In planning and designing the upgrade we’ve considered the changing needs of Council and our community. While the full seismic strengthening work are carried out, we wanted to take the opportunity to refurbish the interior and add a fourth floor and new Council Chambers extension, so it meets modern compliance standards, enhances the community interface and accessibility of our services, and can better accommodate our team and the functions they deliver to the community. The building hasn’t had any major work done in over 50 years.

What has changed

We consulted with you about this project in our 2021-2031 Long Term Plan and it was well supported but given the increased costs to deliver the H2O Xtream upgrade, we are proposing to defer the wider upgrade of the Civic Centre and just do essential seismic strengthening and related works in the short term. This would relieve mounting budget pressure and help balance the impact on rates.  

What we propose to do

As part of our due diligence we completed a new seismic assessment in late 2021 - the last one being done in 2011 - recognising some standards and assessment methods have changed. As a result of this assessment, doing nothing until 2027 is not an option. It is prudent for us to carry out essential seismic strengthening works now, along with any associated minor works required to keep the building compliant with building standards until the full upgrade can be done in the future.

We currently have $5m allocated in this coming year's budget for these works, with the full upgrade project funding of $29m deferred to years 2027 - 2029.

Have your say

Go to letskorero.upperhuttcity.com/ap to find out more and to make a submission.

Deferred full upgrade: Design overview 

This flyover video and the photo gallery below provides a glimpse of what the full upgrade may look like when the project is completed in 2027 - 2029.