Aquatic centre completion faces small delay

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 12:07 11/02/2013
Coastlands aquatic

Aquatic freeze: Work stopped on the Coastlands Aquatic Centre project last week after contractor Mainzeal was put into receivership.

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In a turbulent 48 hours last week Kapiti's $21 million pool complex was trapped in limbo then possibly given a lifeline.

On Thursday Kapiti Coast District Council staff met representatives from PricewaterhouseCooper - receiver for Mainzeal, the company building Coastlands Aquatic Centre.

Councillor Peter Ellis said signs were good the receiver would arrange completion of the project.

The council was in a "lucky position" because there was a monthly payment due to Mainzeal, he said.

"There is money due to be paid to them, which council will now hold and talk to the receivers about it."

Mr Ellis said the council had paid monthly instalments of about $1.2m for 10 months.

"It's a fair amount of money that they won't want to lose out on. And I think with the project being so close to finishing, they will end up getting their cash cow at the end."

He said if the receiver did not come to an agreement with Mainzeal to get the company back on deck the council could deal directly with the subcontractors.

Mr Ellis is a councillor appointee to the community fundraising trust for the project, along with councillor Diane Ammundsen.

Ms Ammundsen said she was gutted when she heard the news of Mainzeal's receivership - but was more optimistic after Thursday's meeting.

"We're expecting confirmation on Monday [today] that they will proceed to finish the centre because we're only weeks away."

She said with only two working days lost last week, and confirmation expected today, the best case scenario was that the project would only be delayed by a fortnight.

Work on the project stopped after the announcement on Wednesday that Mainzeal had gone into receivership.

Subcontractors were locked out of the site on Thursday morning and forced to fill out paperwork to retrieve tools and vehicles.

On Friday, in a written release, council chief executive Pat Dougherty said the meeting, which involved representatives of Mainzeal, was constructive.

"The receivers are considering a number of possible options but need to hold further discussion with the subcontractors.

"Importantly, they seem as keen as we are to get things moving again and to ultimately finish the project."

Mainzeal won the contract to build with a tender of $15m in December 2011, following a budget blow-out that pushed the overall cost up from $17m to $21m.

In November, work on a new car park for the revamped council headquarters, and a safety realignment of Paraparaumu's Ngahina St were added to the Mainzeal contract.

The decision added $527,000, including $50,000 contingency cash, to the deal.

The project was on budget and on time to open at the end of March, with Governor General Jerry Mateparae already booked for the event.

On Friday, Ms Ammundsen said she was still busy visiting Kapiti businesses for donations for events at the opening.

"In the face of adversity you've just got to be positive and plug on."

The receivers have set up a website page, which will regularly update developments http:/ /www.pwc.co.nz/mainzeal.

TIMELINE

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The aquatic centre won approval in September 2010 - with a target cost of $15.7 million. The Kapiti Aquatic Centre Trust would cover $4.3m leaving the council within its $10.5m budget.

In December 2010, a clear plastic roof was included in the design for an extra $300,000, and wider pool surrounds for another $168,000.

Earthworks started in June 2011 - compressing peat on the site.

By August 2011 the estimated cost of the roof doubled to about $614,000 - by November the council announced the project would be delayed because of higher-than expected tenders.

In December 2011 the council announced the project would cost about $21m - with Mainzeal winning the tender for $15m.

In February 2012, Mainzeal starts work on the project.

Waitangi Day, 2013, Mainzeal put in receivership.

- Kapiti Observer

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