The development of community hubs is one of the core elements of the Hutt City Long Term Integrated Community Facilities Plan (LTICFP). This plan outlines a 30 year development process to revitalise our community facilities across the city and was adopted by the Hutt City Council in 2013.
Stokes Valley was highlighted as a key location to situate an integrated community hub. Council already owns a library and hall facility located next to one another, and a Council-owned community house is close.
A community consultation process was carried out late 2014 which obtained the views and thoughts of the Stokes Valley community about an integrated hub. This was a comprehensive consultation, and included 198 individual household responses, in addition to 44 schools, businesses and community organisations and several targeted sessions with children and young people.
This community consultation formed the basis for further work on the project.
Several design options were completed which focused on the key themes that emerged in the consultation.
Council officers also undertook significant work on assessing the current Hall and Library facilities. During this process it was identified that some areas of the hall facility did not meet current building code for seismic compliance. This prompted the immediate closure to the public of these areas.
On 24 November 2014 a report was submitted to the Community Development Committee. The report was approved by the Committee to go to the full Council meeting on 15 December 2015. It presented two options with Officers recommending option two.
Strengthen the two current assets on site, but retain the basic structures. Council officers believed this option provided limited ability to achieve the outcomes identified by the community during consultation in 2014. The cost was approximately $2 million which had already been identified in Council’s budget.
Provide a brand new facility on the same site. The total floor space would be extended and the project would have a total cost of $5.1 million. Council officers recommended that this option would achieve the aspirations of the community to provide an integrated community hub which included a range of services delivered from one site. This option required additional funding of approximately $3.1 million to be allocated to the project. Final costs will be provided back to Council once more planning and design has been completed.
The report was approved by the Community Development Committee and went to the full Council meeting on 15 December 2015 where it was signed off. The additional $3.1 million funding was considered during the 2016/17 annual plan process. This finalised which of the two options Council would proceed with from July 2016.
Submissions opened on 29 March 2016, and closed 29 April 2016. The community was encouraged to submit their thoughts on this project.
The summer months have flown by and now we are into autumn already! In the coming few months we hope to get a good run for the team on site.
With a clear site between Feb-March the team have made great progress - we invite locals to visit and see the changes. From a patch of dirt, the site now has been excavated in required areas and refilled, and our gravel base has been laid which created the platform.
We then had footings, anchors and under slab services installed. Finally during March and into April the structural steel has been erected and pre-cast concrete slab walls coming into place.
As with many capital projects, progress seems to get a boost in visibility once it is out of the ground. We have seen some phenomenal change over the last five weeks and expect this to continue in the coming months as the building gets enclosed.
We can now truly get a sense of the scale of the building and its place at the entrance to the Scott Court car park.
All of the structural steel and pre-cast concrete panels have been installed over the last five weeks. In addition, the external framing is completed and the roof and windows/doors will be installed in the coming fortnight. This will mean that the site is completely enclosed which is a big milestone in the programme. After this, internal works can commence without the complication of weather affecting work.
We completed the Mauri stone laying ceremony on 18 May. This was a significant event in the overall life of the building and a very special occasion to be present for.
With less than a month until opening the Hub is looking impressive. Construction on the outside of the building is almost complete with landscaping for the courtyard being finished later this month.
Fittings have been installed inside the building, including lighting, shelving, and boxes of library collections to be unpacked.
Some of the artwork is going up, including 400 coloured tiles that local primary school children have produced especially for the opening.
Toy Library, Plunket, and groups from the Stokes Valley Community House will also be moving into the Hub along with the Library, so a busy month ahead before opening!
For more information on this project please contact:
M: 027 702 5263