My first motion at yesterday’s Municipal District meeting – Can the council provide a progress update on the Town Hall including -current costs and expenditure -reason for ongoing delay, -plans for its future use, -requirements for completion -date of opening
Here is the report issued by: JP Holligan, Administrative Officer, (on behalf of Peter Minnock, Director of Services, Planning, Community & Culture and Tadgh McDonnell, Director of Services, Housing) Economic Development, Enterprise and Corporate Services .
Phase 2 of works to Newbridge Town Hall completed on Friday 6th May. The contract sum for Phase 2 was €422,495.45 excluding VAT. Prior to Christmas project costs were broadly on target. Some additional costs were incurred mainly in associated with the refurbishment of the existing metal windows, replacement of some roof and floor timbers and strengthening of existing floor which was in poorer condition than expected, and client instructed additional works. These costs were partly offset by some savings through redesign.
The building suffered severe water ingress in December which necessitated the repointing of all external elevations and some repair to existing finished work. This was specialist work and resulted in significant additional costs and delay to the project. It took a number of months for the repointing works to complete and for the building to fully dry out to allow internal work to finish.
We are working with the quantity surveyor and the contractor to agree the final account. This process should complete within the next two weeks. Apart from general snagging works there are a number of small items to be completed under the contract. These include the fitting of a permanent handrail to the ramp and steps to the main entrance, the fitting of a Kildare County Council Page 11 of 13 kitchen in the existing office area, and some redecoration works to the walls which were stained from the water damage. This work will be undertaken over the next few weeks as the opportunity presents when the building is not in use.
The Management Board, as formed, have had a number of meetings to review the progress on the works and consider how the refurbished building might be made available for public use. These considerations are ongoing. Key to any decisions by the board, will be, putting in place a set of guidelines on agreed usage and at same time having an arrangement in place with some local entity that has the resource to manage the booking, supervision and caretaking in accordance with the guidelines set by the board.
The Management Board have always held the belief that since the building has been closed for many years, it is important that the public and community of Newbridge town get an opportunity to visit the building. The Sackville Art Project exhibition is affording such an opportunity over a two week period this month. Another upcoming local opportunity is the schedule of events in conjunction with the June Fest programme, subject to the necessary protocols being in place.
The Management Board will also make arrangements for a separate viewing by all those who have expressed an interest to date. It is expected that this can be done after the current Sackville Art Project is over. The key point is that the use of the premises is evolving and future uses will be determined based on experiences and emerging interests.