Estimated costs for the Tauranga’s proposed new museum and library have increased.
Architects Jasmax told city councillors of the increased costs at a City Transformation Committee workshop meeting.
A glass-floored museum built over the significant archaeological site on Cliff Road is estimated to have a total costs of $64.4 million.
Building a stand-alone library in Willow Street is estimated to cost an additional $56.34 million.
An integrated museum/library on Willow Street is expected to have a total cost of $93.7 million.
It’s the first time the architects Jasmax have been able to present their cost estimates publicly and Principle Neil Martin prepared three pricing tiers for councillors to discuss; full scope, targeted reductions, and reduced scope.
The reduced scope option obtained by shrinking some internal spaces and using cheaper materials brings the estimated totals down to $44.8m, $77.8m and $52.9m respectively.
They compared bulk and location and scale drawings. The costs are based on rates projected to July 2018. Also included in the total are per square metre construction costs and fit-out.
In reply to councillor Bill Grainger’s question about why the building cost of a Cliff Road museum is between 11-12,000 per m2, when the integrated museum and library building cost per m2 is between $7,000 and $7,800, Neil says a Cliff Road museum will have to be built on piles to prevent destruction of the site over which it is built, and a section of glass floor is costed in.
They are also compressing a lot of museum into a smaller area which drives up the per square metre rate, says Neil.
“We put a nine metre stud into the building. We have interpreted the aspiration on that site as requiring a certain monumentality.
“The option we studied was a one story building providing benefits for access and benefits in terms of the way it would be perceived on the site. In order to give it the monumentality and status we think the building needs on that site we gave it a nine metre stud. Twice the height of the integrated museum or the library would have around 5-5.5 m. The integrated building will be five stories tall.
“That comes about through the museum needing to do everything if you like, to create the scale presence on that site all by itself.”
Project lead Carole Canler says the staff recommendation is to use the costing for the full scale facilities so the council does not compromise of functionality and is able to deliver on all service requirements.
External funding also has issues councillor have to bear in mind.
“External funding is not proportional to the cost of the building,” says Carole.
If the cost goes up, it doesn’t mean the external funding will increase by the same amount.
“It’s not forever extendable. There’s only so much central government and other organisations will give.”
And the most outside money the council can get will be for the museum, as libraries are not considered a primary local government function.
“When you see those external fundings around the $30m mark that is probably driven by the museum.”
It means external funding for a stand-alone library is $5.5m or 11 per cent of the total. External funding for the stand alone Cliff Road museum is 55 per cent of the total at $32.5m. But external funding for the integrated museum and library falls to 47 per cent of the cost, $37.7 million.
External funding for the stand-alone museum and stand-alone library is 36 per cent at $38m.
“So we can understand what it means for the funding requirements for those options from a TCC perspective,” says Carole.
“When you take the total project costs and take out external funding, this is what you are left with before you have any ancillary costs.”
But while a stand-alone museum at Cliff Road is well supported by the government, the option of a separate museum and library is calculated to add $128 to the rates.
A stand-alone museum at Cliff Road and a reinstated central library, will cost ratepayers an addiitonal $81.30 a year.
An integrated museum and library in Willow Street will boost rates by $95.60.
A new stand-alone library will cost ratepayers an additional $52.90, and just reinstating the library will add $5.60 to the rates demands.
The workshop which is open to the public, continues in the council chambers on Thursday morning from 9am, but the business case will be discussed behind closed doors from 11.30am.
Decisions are not made at workshop meetings. A recommendation to council will be made at the City Transformation committee meeting on December 5.