Council approves $3.9m offices
Hindmarsh Shire Councillors attended a closed council meeting and passed approval for the redevelopment of the current Shire offices in Nhill on Wednesday February 1.
Speaking with Mayor Cr. Cliff Unger on Monday he told the Banner, “the cost of project has been estimated at $3.9 million, which will be funded out of the Shire’s resources, but financed by Hindmarsh ratepayers.
Council moved to build new offices, the construction of which will commence in early March, with completion planned for December 2013.
It will be done in three stages in order to complete the makeover.
Mayor Mr Cliff Unger explained that they intend to use an eco friendly design to make it an environmentally friendly project. The Banner understands this will include solar panels for both electricity and hot water, with the building designed to enable natural air ventilation throughout the building, eco-friendly building materials, energy-efficient appliances, with rainwater harvesting and maximum energy saving.
He also explained that the current offices are too small for staff, making it an uncomfortable work environment, and lacking a place to hold meetings or have confidential discussions.
“The Shire offices at Nhill are said to be one of the worst buildings in Victoria and are in desperate need of refurbishment” according to Cr Unger, who explained that the works will take place on the existing site, being a two story building, refurbishing each part in stages, demolishing a section while moving staff into another part of the premises until the project is complete.
In early 2009, Council acknowledged that it had outgrown the existing offices and the building was no longer ‘fit for purpose’.
At it’s meeting on 21 July 2010, Council adopted a corporate accommodation study prepared by consultancy company BurnsBridge Sweett and resolved unanimously to begin planning for an improved customer service centre in Nhill.
At its April 2011 meeting, Council appointed Melbourne based architects k20 to undertake detailed design of the proposed Shire office redevelopment.