Hutt City Council may find new building
HUTT VALLEY REPORTER
Hutt City Council is not ruling out leaving its earthquake-prone headquarters.
‘‘We may yet decide to do a new building somewhere else. It’s not personally my preferred option, I feel that it’s in the right place,’’ Lower Hutt Deputy Mayor David Bassett said.
Mr Bassett is heading a working group to assess nine options for a $24 million strengthening of the civic precinct, including the Town Hall, Horticultural Hall and council's administration block
A preferred approach will be presented to the council in December.
Any revamp of the council's administration building would ‘‘future-proof’’ it, Mr Bassett said.
That meant it could be converted into apartments, offices or shops if the Hutt City Council ceased to exist due to the creation of a super-city.
‘‘It’s got to be a sensible, practical building.’’
Council ceo Tony Stallinger said the December meeting would include a breakdown of the $24 million budget, including temporary relocation costs.
More than 220 people work in the council's Laings Rd administration building, which was built in 1957.
The Hutt City Council this week closed its Town Hall, after an engineer’s report outlined a ‘‘dangerous existing seismic hazard’’.
The building was found to be between 15 and 25 per cent of New Building Standard (NBS).
The Hutt City Council has adopted the Earthquake Prone Building Policy, which requires buildings in the city to be strengthened to 67 per cent of NBS by 2018 at the latest.
Engineers Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd found the Town Hall’s inner masonry work was not secured to an outer concrete wall.
‘‘Although any collapse of this inner leaf would be partly constrained by the fibrous plaster, the height of the wall and volume of masonry concerned make this a significant potential hazard.’’
There was no option but to close the hall, Mr Bassett said.
‘‘Can you imagine if your kids were in there and there was an earthquake? I couldn’t sleep at night.’’
- © Fairfax NZ News
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