Katikati will have to settle for a revised design for a new library, service centre and community hub after a $1m budget blowout on the original concept presented to the community in June.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council capped funding at an increased level of $4.5m at last Thursday's final meeting of the triennium, after approving an additional $525,000 due to a 15 per cent increase in construction costs.
The $4.5 million cap is $1 million above the initial estimate set in 2015 - final costs won't be known until the project is put out for tender, but will not exceed the cap.
Several concepts were developed by First Principles Architects for the proposed community facilities, both single and two-storey options.
The first concept presented to the public in June was a two-storied, two building concept incorporating an airbridge between the buildings and a covered walkway. Councillor Peter Mackay said councillors and the Katikati Community Board were advised by the architect that this concept 1 design as shown to the community, could be completed within the original budget figure.
Mr Mackay was advised that after that community meeting the architect consulted with and received advice from a quantity surveyor, indicating that the cost of the original design would be some 50 per cent greater than originally advised. He believes the architect did not follow best practice and receive professional quantity surveyors' advice before presenting his design and cost estimates.
Council's project spokesperson, deputy chief executive Gary Allis said in hindsight the architect came up with a design that exceeded the brief and budget.
"This would have become immediately evident if the concept had gone through a quantity surveying process to check construction costs versus budget before going back to the community for feedback. But this work did not take place at this time," he said.
In terms of accountability, Mr Allis said the architects are paid a fixed fee for creation of a design that meets the brief, so any extra work required comes at their cost.
Council directed staff to request the architect produce alternative designs that could meet the desired 1200sqm floor area and take into account a 15 per cent increase in construction costs since the first estimates. Mr Allis says council has come up with a practical solution that will meet the expectations set in the Town Centre Plan and the requirements of current and future library and community hub users.
The new concept is a double-storey library building and single-storey community hub linked to each other and to the main street by covered walkways and a community courtyard. It was one of four considered at last Thursday's meeting and was the preferred option of the Katikati Community Reference Group which lobbied successfully for its adoption.
The group said the project was a 50 year-plus investment in the town and a key component of its long term community plan. They asked council to "do it once and do it right" and create a building that complements the Katikati Memorial Hall.
Councillor Mike Williams said the compromise was to keep the library as a two storey building with a single level hub.
"I'm not sold on the idea but we do get a balance between 'wow' and funding."
Mr Allis met with the community reference group in Katikati on Monday. Katch Katikati's Jacqui Knight, who is a member of the group, said the architect is looking at suggestions from the group and will fine-tune the concept design at no additional cost.
The new facilities are due to be constructed in 2017.