Contractor announced for Rotorua Museum and Sir Howard Morrison Centre projects

Wednesday 18, December 2019 | News,Project Team | ,

With construction beginning next year on Rotorua Museum and the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, leading New Zealand firm, Hawkins, has been appointed as the pre-construction contractor for the seismic strengthening and redevelopment for both of these key community facilities.

Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre

Hawkins General Manager Central, Peter McCawe, says the confirmation of these two iconic projects is a great Christmas present for the Hawkins team.

“Hawkins has a long history in the Bay of Plenty and we’ve been working in Rotorua since 1947. It is a privilege to be restoring two buildings that have been such an important part of not only Rotorua but New Zealand’s history and we look forward to the challenge,” says Mr McCawe.

Following a comprehensive procurement process starting in 2018, five companies were invited to tender for either one or both projects in October this year.

“There are very similar aspects to both these projects, but they also have their own special characteristics,” said Stewart Brown, Rotorua Lakes Council’s Manager Arts & Culture. “They both involve seismic strengthening, they are both Category 1 heritage buildings and they are both situated in a geothermal area with the added challenges that brings,” he said.

Individual selection panels for each of the two projects made their recommendations to council last week which saw Hawkins approved as the chosen pre-construction contractor and preferred construction contractor.

Mr Brown was impressed with the level of detail in the tender document supported by Hawkins extensive experience in civic projects including art galleries, event centres, stadiums and community facilities.

“There are only a limited number of companies in New Zealand with the required experience and capacity to undertake the work these projects require.”

 “We are delighted Hawkins have come on board and are looking forward to seeing fantastic progress on both facilities in 2020,” says Mr Brown.

Hawkins is one of New Zealand’s leading construction businesses and is owned by Downer. The combined technical and construction management expertise that Hawkins and Downer bring to the table provides proven solutions using innovative technology to sustainably deliver outcomes.

$51.1million has now been secured for the Rotorua Museum project, enabling the seismic strengthening and building redevelopment to be completed. In addition to the $15million committed by Rotorua Lakes Council, $20million has been committed by central government ($15million from the Provincial Growth Fund and $5million from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage), $10million has been pledged from the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, $6million was secured from the Lottery Grants Board, and the remaining $100,000 was donated by the Phillip Verry Charitable Foundation .

Rotorua Museum Centennial Trust has committed to help raise any additional funds required to complete the exhibitions.

Rotorua Museum Cafe deconstruction, September 2019

Deconstruction works are now underway at the Museum. Non-heritage walls are currently being removed, the café and other spaces are being stripped out and old plant and equipment is being decommissioned and removed.

For the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, $22.5million has been secured to fund the seismic strengthening and redevelopment work, transforming the Centre into a fit-for-purpose performing arts facility for both our local community and the wider region. This funding has come from a variety of sources including $11.5million from RLC, $5.2million from the Lottery Grants Board, a very generous donation of $3million from philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn, $1.5million from Rotorua Trust, $1million from NZCT, $150,000 from Pukeroa Oruawhata Trusts and $125,000 from One Foundation.

Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre foyer deconstruction, November 2019

Deconstruction work is also underway on the Sir Howard Morrison Centre. Contractors are currently opening up walls, lifting floors and removing the technical equipment into storage for re-use when the Centre reopens in 2021.