STRENGTHENING work on Anderson House is finally set to start next month.
In October last year, Invercargill city councillors made a unanimous decision to “immediately” undertake remedial maintenance, seismic strengthening and fire and access improvements to the building, which has been closed since 2014 due to earthquake concerns.
But during the long-term plan deliberations in May, staff told councillors potential contractors indicated there may not be the capacity to complete the work this year.
Invercargill City Council (ICC) group manager infrastructure Erin Moogan told councillors during an infrastructural services committee meeting on Tuesday, those concerns were now extinguished and confirmed the work would begin in November.
“Obviously, it has been a little bit of a process for us to get here but now we have all heritage, resource and building consents in place and the contractors have confirmed… they will still be on track to commence this work in November.”
Work was expected to be completed by April 2022 and ICC was partnering with local stakeholders to determine the best future use for Anderson House, she said.
Ms Moogan also informed councillors the strengthening work at Civic Theatre was completed last week.
Costs still needed to be confirmed but she believed it had been done “well under” the budget of $20,000.
At the beginning of the meeting, Cr Peter Kett apologised to ICC chief executive Clare Hadley after comments made to Stuff last month when he had called for Mrs Hadley to resign following the email saga of Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt.
“I’ve made a mistake… I should not be criticising staff in the public arena. There are strict rules and regulations around that. I apologise to Clare Hadley.”
Yesterday, the two new mana whenua representatives, Pania Coote, of Te Runanga o Awarua, and Evelyn Cook, of Waihopai Runaka, were formally welcomed into the council.
The council did not invite the Southland Express to cover the event.