Len Lye Centre under threat

BLANTON SMITH
Last updated 11:46 27/02/2013

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A budget blowout could see the controversial Len Lye Centre project scrapped altogether.

In a special meeting tomorrow the New Plymouth District Council will discuss the project's future after a new tender came back at more than $15 million.

Councillors will decide whether to accept the tender price of $15,428,777 and if they don't, one of the options is that the council could walk away from the project. 

The new tender leaves the Len Lye Foundation and Len Lye Centre Trust with a $750,000m fit-out shortfall.

An underwrite from the council is being sought to cover it, which would come from council debt.

If the council decides not to accept the tender, the project will be unable to proceed but will still cost the council $2.45m.

This is because it will be required to pay $1.45m back to the Government and still provide another $1m for earthquake strengthening to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery as a stand alone project.

In 2011 the cost of building the Len Lye Centre was estimated at $10m, but that did not include the fit-out of the centre or earthquake strengthening work to the Govett-Brewster.

Revised budgets, incorporating the cost of earthquake strengthening, building compliance costs, weather tightness and climate control took the price of the joint project to $12,880,739.

The latest $15.4m tender price includes construction costs of $12,880,739, professional fees of $2,048,038 and $500,000 for contingencies but excludes fit-out costs of $750,000.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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