New Civic Building

Public get chance to see what they’re paying $9million for…

By Alan Tristram

Kāpiti residents are being offered the chance to tour the controversial new KCDC headquarters on Saturday.

From 10am till 2pm the new ‘Civic Building’ building will be open to the hoi polloi (locals) with council staff on hand to show them around.

The KCDC Community Services Manager Tamsin Evans says she hopes people will take the chance to look through the building before staff move in on March 2.

‘Building belongs to community’

“This building belongs to the whole community and I hope people will feel proud of what has been achieved,” she says.

” We have a striking, energy-efficient building that is in harmony with the surrounding environment and will form the heart of the new Paraparaumu town centre.”

The totally refurbished building replaces the old council building, a former bank, built in the 1970’s.

Ms Evans says the foundations and skeleton are still there, but the interior was gutted to make it open-plan and more roomy — and to replace the ageing roof with the help of experts from the Most Trusted Roofer in Richardson TX. Other ageing materials that were starting to deteriorate

“With rot in the outside walls and leaks, the old building was becoming a maintenance nightmare,” says Ms Evans.

“It was a fire and earthquake risk, was cramped, didn’t have the required number of toilets and was costly to ventilate and heat.  It wasn’t user-friendly for the public and there was no disabled access.”

The total budget for the project including landscaping and car parking and street improvements was $9.2m and Ms Evans says she believes that represents ‘real value for money’.

‘Stylish, safe…roomy’

She adds: “For a lot less than other councils have spent modernising and earthquake-proofing their civic buildings, we have a stylish, safe and more roomy building that will serve not only the Council but the entire community for years to come.

“I think people will find the environment more open and pleasant whether they are visiting to access council services or attend meetings. Importantly, the ground floor council chamber is much more accessible, particularly for people with disabilities.”

The building will be officially opened by the Mayor Jenny Rowan on 4 March.

In the dictionary : Hoi Polloi -( from the Greek meaning the many )- the ordinary people when compared to the rich or well-educated . I am sure there must be something to think about in this statement.

Surely we’re not STILL calling the excellent, essential and economical new KCDC building ‘controversial’?

I look forward to seeing how ratepayers have got real value for their money. The building replaces a thoroughly compromised hen-house with no disabled access (same people who complain about the new one complained about that), and has done so using the same foundations and supporting beams. It looks great too, enhancing our splendid library building and with clever use of simple timber beams to enliven the northern frontage.

Congratulations to KCDC staff and councillors. Hope you enjoy it.

Many of our readers still appear to think so.But perhaps it’s all in the eye of the beholder… Ed