Thursday 11 June 2015
Christchurch City Council has today (Thursday 11 June) agreed to fully restore the Town Hall.
Following today's decision, a contractor will be appointed to carry out the work. Restoration work is expected to begin this month and to be completed in June 2018.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel says that, given the Council's financial situation, the decision to restore the Town Hall has not been made lightly.
"While the Town Hall holds a special place in the hearts of so many Christchurch people, it was important that this decision made sense financially. After careful consideration, this was the most cost-effective way to restore an important civic and performing arts facility to the city and we're looking forward to construction beginning."
A number of options for the future of the Town Hall were considered, including partial restoration or building a new facility. The recommendation to fully restore the Town Hall was based on a business case carried out by Deloittes that identified it was the most financially viable option that would also provide the fit-for-purpose civic, cultural and performing arts facilities a city the size of Christchurch needs.
A total of $127.5 million has been budgeted for the restoration. This will be partially funded by a $68.9 million insurance contribution, with ratepayers contributing the balance of $58.6 million. To receive a full insurance payout, the Council had to restore the Town Hall in its entirety.
Unit Manager Anchor Projects Liam Nolan says the Council has done a significant amount of pre-restoration work to determine the level of risk associated with the project. Tenders received for the repair and refurbishment gave the Council certainty that the project could be delivered within the $127.5 million set aside. "We are confident that the project will be brought in on time and on budget. The repair method that has been chosen will see the building's foundations significantly strengthened, ensuring the Town Hall can be used and enjoyed for the next 50 years."
The restoration work includes repairing and strengthening the Town Hall to 100 per cent of New Building Standard as well as a significant upgrade and refurbishment of the facility. This includes a possible reconfiguration of the James Hay Theatre which addresses the needs of the performing arts community.
Residents had their chance to have a say on whether the Town Hall should be restored as part of the Council's 2012/13 Annual Plan. Following overwhelming support from the public to restore the Town Hall, the previous Council agreed to repair the existing facility to 100 per cent of New Building Standard. On 29 August 2013, the Council reconfirmed its commitment to restoring the Town Hall.