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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Seeing as the hoardings have been erected around the Town Hall I thought I might as well make a thread for the whole project. In short the development consists of two stages: the first stage is the strengthening and refurbishment of the Town Hall; the second is the relocation of a music school into the former WCC Municipal Office Building. The precinct will be occupied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM). If both stages go ahead it will become a National Music Hub.


Stage one seems like a fairly straight-forward proposal, additions include a new basement-level public toilet accessible from Civic Square and a new fit-out for the smaller auditorium which is currently tiered but which will become flat. Of course the actual strengthening of the building will be complex, it involves re-piling and base isolation and this will be the bulk of the work.


Also included in stage one of the project is a new atrium running between the Hall and the adjacent Municipal Building. I think the space in the Town Hall is going to be for the NZSO - their administration and their general musical activities.


There also seems to be the inclusion of specialised recording facilities in the building - the main auditorium is renowned globally for its acoustics - and the Orchestra has long wanted to pursue more recording opportunities.


The budget for this stage is at least $90 million but the NZSO are contributing additionally to the fit-out (the government has been asked for $10 million in next year's budget).


Work has already begun and it's expected to be complete by 2021.


Stage two involves the reworking of the Municipal Building into a music school for the NZSM, operated by Victoria University.


The building also requires strengthening and it looks like external additions are also being made to it. The renders show large gold boxes on stilts rising up from Civic Square and a new entrance configuration on the far side (which would evidently require the demolition of the current atrium).


This stage is yet to be confirmed by the University and funding is yet to be secured. I'm not entirely sure, but reading between the lines the budget will be about $100 million for this stage. There is a fundraising campaign active at the moment trying to raise $30 million (it's at $11 million currently) and I guess the university will pay the rest.


In addition to work on the two buildings there also seems to be a little work being done on the ground floor of the Michael Fowler Centre along the laneway beside the Town Hall - it looks like they're music studios or something.


So all in all the three buildings (including the Michael Fowler Centre) will be an extensive and significant cultural precinct which will include three auditoriums (two of which seat over 2,000 people), recording studios, a national orchestra, and a national music school. If it all goes ahead it will be great for Wellington and New Zealand.


The architects are Athfield.


Here's a fly-through video of proposed precinct:




View from Wakefield Street:








View from Civic Square and inside:













Town Hall main auditorium:




 

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the first stage is the strengthening and refurbishment of the Town Hall.

Work has already begun and it's expected to be complete by 2021.
From what has been said publicly all they are currently doing is securing the unreinforced masonry parapets and facades

In March the Council said it was yet have selected any contractor for the actual strengthening and refurbishment
http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=108305

have you heard of progress in finalising a main contractor....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
have you heard of progress in finalising a main contractor....
I don't think the main contractor has been chosen yet or at least nothing has been publicly announced. I understand that the main body of the work is to commence in the next few months so I guess we'll hear about a contractor fairly soon.

What is the total value for the works?
I'm not entirely sure, but a Stuff article says this: "It's a significant part of the funding needed for the project, which is predicted to cost $187m in total" (https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/105038521/town-hall-national-music-hub-project-gets-4m-from-lotteries-grant). So I guess it's around $200 million when you add the costs of the NZSO fit-out in the Town Hall which is $10 million.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
There was interesting news today about the music hub proposal and Civic Square in general. I'm not entirely sure but it seems as though Victoria, the NZSO, and the WCC have today signed a binding agreement relating to some part of the music hub. Unfortunately the journalist writing the story wasn't very interested in the detail of the agreement and so I can't say for sure whether this agreement confirms the second stage of the proposal or if it only relates to the Town Hall and stage one. Here's the article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/106232728/what-is-happening-with-wellingtons-civic-precinct-

There's also this Scoop article which is slightly more enlightening: http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=111455. But I still can't figure out whether this agreement actually relates to the University taking on the Municipal Office Building (stage two) or whether it just relates to their involvement in stage one. It does, however, sound as though stage two has been confirmed.

And then there is also the rather worrying news in the Stuff article about the overall state of Civic Square, which is to say that literally every structure, as well as the actual ground on which they stand, faces varying degrees of seismic concern. This presentation https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/news/files/2018/civic-precinct-presentation.pdf?la=en given to Councillors shows the extent of the problems facing Civic Square.

In short:

The Town Hall is getting strengthened and so is the Municipal Office Building (if stage two goes ahead) and so they're not really a problem.

This leaves every other building to be strengthened or demolished: The Library is at only 60% NBS and will be strengthened in the future - there's some sort of investigation being carried out by the MBIE into a certain aspect of the Library's construction which has prevented work being done. The City Gallery is at 67% NBS but probably won't be strengthened. Capital E is at 20% and a decision has been made to demolish it (just how this is going to be achieved considering there's the bridge on top of it is anyone's guess). Speaking of the bridge, the City to Sea Bridge is at 40% NBS and a decision will need to be made as to what to do with it (demolish and replace is probably the most likely). On top of all these problems, or beneath them really, is the sea wall which contains the land of Civic Square and which is slowly being undermined, work will need to be done to remediate these issues. The Council carpark underneath the Square and the Library will also need work done to it. Then there's the Michael Fowler Centre which is at 50-60% NBS and will also need some strengthening. Finally, there's the Central Administration Building which has been cordoned off since 2016, strengthening options for this building are limited and it can only be strengthened to 67% NBS which is probably unacceptable to an organisation like the Council, therefore, I would say that demolition is likely.

That's the bad news, the good news (depending on your point of view) is that both the Jack Ilott Green and the Michael Fowler Centre carpark are being sold off for developments (they'll need to be to pay for all the work being done on Civic Square). The MFC carpark deal seems to be the most advanced with a developer already being selected (Willis and Bond I bet) and there are plans for construction to start immediately after the RNZB vacates in 2020. There's even these preliminary renders of the proposal, the building is much taller than I imagined they'd be allowed to go (it looks taller than the MFC):



 

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That's the bad news, the good news (depending on your point of view) is that both the Jack Ilott Green and the Michael Fowler Centre carpark are being sold off for developments
While it is highly likely the car park will be developed , I'm fairly sure that Jack Ilott is staying,

2 August 2018
https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/news/2018/08/civic-precinct

Jack Ilott Green

The Council recently agreed that designating Jack Ilott Green as a reserve be investigated as part of the wider Civic Precinct assessments
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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I don't think the main contractor has been chosen yet or at least nothing has been publicly announced. I understand that the main body of the work is to commence in the next few months so I guess we'll hear about a contractor fairly soon.
Now given the below story and the fact we have not heard boo from any announcement appointing a contractor for the Town Hall strengthening job, I'm putting 2 and 2 together and concluding the bids are significantly higher than what they had budgeted. (I mean if St James is +50% -$15M now $23M I guessing they could be looking at nearer $150M for the town hall)

Cost to fix St James Theatre balloons by $16m

Council documents show $14.9m was put aside for the strengthening work in the council's long term plan.

Councillors were now being asked to approve an extra $8.1m for strengthening work and $8.6m to go towards renovating the building and upgrading its systems, like air conditioning.
https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/375488/cost-to-fix-st-james-theatre-balloons-by-16m
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah I think you may be right, I seem to remember that October was meant to the month when it was all announced as well.

Although I did initially think that $15 million for the St James was quite light so hopefully the costs for the Town Hall won't balloon that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a detailed summary of the St James budget blowout in a recent Council document (from page 77 onwards): https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/meetings/committees/city-strategy-committee/2018/11/15/20181115-csc-agenda.pdf

Also of interest is that it looks like the Council are looking at redeveloping the car park area behind the theatre:

34. The real opportunity is the car park behind the St James which lends itself to a development. The project team is assessing the feasibility and estimated cost of a new structure that could potentially house arts functions and provide commercial revenue opportunities. Any development would need to maintain and ideally enhance the rear access to the theatre.

35. One option for the development could be to relocate some/all of the functions from Toi Poneke - the current buildings are unsuitable for the long term and there is a lease break option available in November 2020.
 

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Now I want to see some news about the Town Hall...
The fact that the Council is currently seeking bids for the supply of base isolators for the Town Hall doesn't exactly fill me with confidence..

Sure it means something is happening, but I would have though the lead contractor would be the one responsible for wrangling the sub contacts like this.....
Tender Name : Provision and Supply of the Base Isolation System for the Wellington Town Hall Re-development
Reference # : Open Date : Monday, 15 October 2018 8:00 AM
Close Date : Friday, 23 November 2018 4:00 PM

"Delivery of the base isolation system to the construction site is to be completed in a staged manner to suit the anticipated requirements of the main contractors construction programme, which is to be finalised in due course. "
https://www.gets.govt.nz/WCC/ExternalTenderDetails.htm?id=20285547
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So there's more information in this official release from Council:

The Chief Executive of Wellington City Council Kevin Lavery will be asking Councillors to approve additional funding for the strengthening of Wellington Town Hall when they meet on 27 February.

This revised costing and recommendation comes after Kevin Lavery requested more detailed testing and investigations which has taken place over the last 18 months.

Estimated costs for the project have increased to $112 million, plus contingency, mainly because of the complexity of the project and the busy construction market.

Kevin Lavery said: "We are excited to press the go button for the Town Hall. Once complete, the Town Hall will be a world-class musical venue with improved rehearsal and performance space. It will be a base for civic and community events and will be part of a centre of musical excellence for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Victoria University of Wellington’s New Zealand School of Music Te Kōkī.

“This has always been a challenging project. We will be retro-fitting base isolators and new foundations to a 114 year old building sitting on reclaimed land with 60 metres to the bedrock. Much of the work will be below the water table. This was never a project for the faint-hearted.

“After a competitive process involving five construction companies, Naylor Love has been selected as the preferred tenderer. The tender price combined with other direct costs is $112.4m and the project will take four years. There is no question that this is one of the most complex re-strengthening, restoration and refurbishment projects undertaken in recent times in New Zealand. Aspects of the tender price could increase due to construction unknowns, so Council will be asked to approve a contingency to cover these risks," he says.

PwC were asked to undertake an independent review of the Town Hall procurement project.

Richard Chung, a partner, PwC said: "The Council's procurement process has been thorough and robust. Council have assembled an experienced in-house team and have used a range of seasoned external experts. The price reflects the complexity of a major heritage project, the underground works, the four year timescale and the capacity constraints in today's construction market. We have suggested some areas where risk and contingency management can be sharpened as the project moves forward."

Under earthquake legislation, the Town Hall has to be either demolished or in the process of being strengthened by the end of 2019. Demolishing the Town Hall is not an option because of its heritage status.
Judging from the sound of this the expected result of the vote by Councillors is to approve going ahead.

Work will commence in March and go for four years, it'll be good to see things finally progress.
 

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Maybe Shane Jones can throw in some of "his" money.

I'd rather see it be spent on a project like this...
They are already hoping/expecting $25 million for the convention centre....
(its buried as a figure in the business case, but never elaborated on)

Not sure they will get much joy asking for money for this as well...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They are already hoping/expecting $25 million for the convention centre....
(its buried as a figure in the business case, but never elaborated on)

Not sure they will get much joy asking for money for this as well...
The NZSO has asked the Government for $10 million for their fit-out.

From what I understand this funding has been confirmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here's an article claiming the total Town Hall budget will be $130m: https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/110831012/developers-claim-contractors-counting-on-contingency-for-wellington-town-hall-project

And also here's the agenda of tomorrow's Council meeting which includes an in depth account of the cost blow out and development plan: https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/meetings/council/2019/02/cou_20190227_agn_3267_at.pdf

One of the interesting things mentioned in it is that Wellington's construction costs are the most expensive in the country.

So the Council votes on two things tommorow: 1. whether to approve the contract with Naylor Love; 2. whether to approve a contingency budget.

I think it's somewhat certain that both these will be approved.
 
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