A new $3.5m library, service centre and community hub that will anchor the Katikati Town Centre development, has had a budget overrun with Western Bay of Plenty District Council proposing an increase of $525,000 at today's Council meeting, due to a 15 per cent rise in construction costs.
If approved, it could see the original proposed concept downscaled to two single-level buildings.
"Option 1 is the original concept that has been discussed with the community and incorporated a two-level community hub and a library service centre with a partial second floor, a high-level bridge connecting them and a full covered walkway and landscaping," council's group manager Garry Allis said.
"More funding will be required for this option."
The Katikati Library Community Reference Group (CRG) is deeply concerned about the design parameters and costs that are dramatically different from those promised at the outset.
"At the first meeting, we asked for and received assurances that the concept would be possible within the budgeted figure. We took the proposal to the Katikati community to seek opinion and were supported by the majority," said group spokesman Sam Dunlop.
"To be told that after a quantity survey the price has escalated by 50 per cent for the architect's design presented to the community, and is unaffordable, was a huge shock and backfooted the CRG," he said. "Council's explanation of excessive cost escalation is unacceptable."
Sam said the CRG has repeatedly asked for the design specifications for the library, service centre and community hub to ensure that it was future-proofed.
"This essential information has not been made available by staff and the CRG believe that the $3.5 million project was commissioned without appropriate evidence-based research and specifications."