Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre project entering next stage

Thursday 31, October 2019 | News |

With funding now secured for the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, the project is moving into the next phase with deconstruction work starting next week. This stage will involve removing internal wall linings and ceilings, lifting floors, and removing technical and mechanical equipment into storage for re-use when the Centre reopens in 2021. This deconstruction work will ensure the building is ready for the start of the main construction phase early next year.

Following a comprehensive ‘Expression of Interest’ stage, five companies were invited to tender for the construction contract, in a two-phase tender process. The first phase is currently underway with tenders due mid-November. A comprehensive evaluation process will follow, resulting in a shortlist of contractors who will move onto the second phase of tenders. Construction is due to start early in the New Year.

“Due to the complex nature of the project there are only a limited number of companies in New Zealand with the required experience and capacity to undertake the work,” said Stewart Brown, Rotorua Lakes Council’s Manager Arts & Culture. “The multifaceted project involves seismic strengthening, a Category 1 heritage building, and the complexities of its geothermal location, so it presents a number of unique challenges,” he said. “We are confident that the five companies selected to tender all have the necessary credentials.”

The project is also entering the final stage of design, with the architects and engineers now working on the detailed drawings and specifications. This work is due for completion in time for the second phase of the tender process. $22.5million has been secured to fund the seismic strengthening and redevelopment work, transforming the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts 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 Ngāti Whakaue trusts and $125,000 from One Foundation.

Artists impression of the redeveloped Sir Howard Morrison Centre