“ New Approach ” – The Gisborne Herald

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Posted on April 29, 2021 12:18 PM

The board will appoint a single contractor to design and build an indoor swimming pool complex.

With higher costs, longer lead times and a change of location, Gisborne District Council has announced a “new approach” to building its $ 46 million Olympic complex.

Councilors voted for “a change in scope and a new approach” to the design and construction of the pool complex at a closed public meeting on April 22.

The council released information on the decision on Tuesday.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said the new approach would see the council appoint a single contractor to design and build the new indoor swimming pool complex.

This would reduce the risk and help ensure that the project arrived on time and on budget.

The change in leadership would also resolve issues that emerged during the design phase, said Ms Thatcher Swann.

“The board had to re-evaluate the design and costs of the pool complex, which is not unusual at the start of a project like this.

“For us, this included the need to relocate the proposed pool location, higher costs for construction products and unforeseen delays due to Covid-19,” she said.

The Olympic swimming pool redevelopment has a budget of $ 46.05 million, however, last month advisers agreed to cover the cost of phase 2 of the project up to $ 3.16 million.

Phase 2 features a wet platform play area, a basketball half court, an improved recreational pool, a new hydroslide, and landscaping.

He put a new price tag for the indoor and outdoor pool complex of up to $ 50.7 million, which the central government is funding $ 40.35 million through Crown Infrastructure Partners.

However, Mrs Thatcher Swann said the project’s budget was still $ 46 million, despite a report to the Gisborne Herald saying that was only the cost of Phase 1.

“Advisors and our Crown partners have made it clear that the project cannot go over budget,” said Ms. Thatcher Swann.

“Having a single supplier to work on the entire project means more efficiency and our taxpayers are protected.

“The pool complex may not be exactly what we envisioned a year ago, but we are committed to providing a fantastic community asset at no additional cost to taxpayers.”

Ms Thatcher Swann said the council would enter into trade negotiations with a preferred supplier.

“While we’ve used some of the budget for early designs and concept development, it’s only a small percentage of the overall funding, and a lot of the work can be reused.

“To meet project milestones, the board had to undertake project work at the board’s expense.

“This means that most of the $ 46 million is available for the pool project. In fact, less than 1% of the budget has been used to date. “

‘Frustrating process’

Mayor Rehette Stoltz said the process had been “frustrating” at times, but councilors remained excited about the future and having a pool complex that would be great for the community.

“This is a government funded project that comes with commitments. This includes the need to stay on budget and start work as soon as possible.

“By working alongside tangata whenua and the sport community, this vision will soon become a reality,” she said.

“This is a very complex, multi-million dollar project and it is important that we do the due diligence properly and resolve any issues as early as possible before construction of the pool begins.

“We are changing the scope, but we will get a pool that our community can be proud of and enjoy, while staying within our budget.”

It follows a group of water sports advocates who were pushing to “make lasting” the disbandment of the pool this month after saying they were “kept in the dark” of the council’s plans.

The group was “disappointed” to learn after a closed public meeting (March 18) that councilors had approved the moving floor they were asking for, but only if the group got $ 1.5 million before April 30.

Spokeswoman for the game-changing opportunities group Sonia Keepa said last week that its members were “quite surprised” to find they were being forced to secure $ 1.5 million to fund “the shortfalls. of the design of the proposed swimming pool ”.

“With the amount of government support this project has received, the group does not want to see money taken from other critical projects in Tairawhiti, including many other facilities that need to be upgraded,” he said. she declared.

The board plans to make decisions on a new contractor next week.

New designs and concepts will be delivered to the board in July, with work scheduled to begin shortly thereafter.

“Change of perimeter”: an original conceptual image of the 50-meter swimming pool as part of the redevelopment project of the Olympic complex. Gisborne District Councilors voted for “a change in scope and a new approach” to the complex after reassessing the design and costs. Picture provided

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