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New approach to Olympic Pool redevelopment

Councillors have approved a change in scope and a new approach to the design and build of the Olympic Pool redevelopment. The new approach will see Council appoint a single contractor to design and build the new indoor pool complex, which reduces the risk to Council, and helps ensure the project will be delivered on time and within budget.

Councillors have approved a change in scope and a new approach to the design and build of the Olympic Pool redevelopment.

The decision was adopted in a public excluded meeting by Council on Thursday.

The new approach will see Council appoint a single contractor to design and build the new indoor pool complex, which reduces the risk to Council, and helps ensure the project will be delivered on time and within budget.

Gisborne District Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says the move will solve issues that have come to light during the initial design phase.

“Our key priority has always been to deliver the best possible outcome for our community, at the least financial risk to Council and our ratepayers.

“For various reasons, Council has had to re-evaluate the pool complex design and costs, which is not unusual during the early phase of a project like this. For us that has included the need to move the proposed location of the pool, higher costs for building products, and unforeseen time delays due to Covid-19,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

The Olympic Pool redevelopment is mostly Government funded with a budget of $46 million.

As part of the project, Council has commitments to its partner Crown Infrastructure Partners, including key dates for the project to start and budget requirements.

The funding cannot be re-purposed for use on other Council matters, as it is a government investment.

“Councillors, and our Crown partners, were clear that the project could not go over budget.

“Having one supplier work on the whole project means more efficiencies and our ratepayers are protected.

“The pool complex might not be exactly what we had envisioned a year ago, but we are committed to delivering a fantastic community asset, at no extra cost to the ratepayers”.

Ms Thatcher Swann says Council will now enter commercial negotiations with a preferred supplier.

“While we have used some of the budget on early designs and concept development, it is only a small percentage of the overall funding, and a lot of the work can be re-used.

“We still have most of the $46 million government funding available for this project.

“We know that some of our local partners have found the process frustrating. However, major infrastructure projects like this are complex.

“Council acknowledges the input of the Game-Changing Opportunity Group, and also the work of Create Limited one of our local architect firms who have worked on this project,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

Council expects to make decisions on a new contractor next week. New designs and concepts will be delivered to Council in July, with work to begin soon after.