Plunket rooms build delayed after ‘significant’ black mould found

MORE PROBLEMS: The refurbishment of the Redwood Plunket Rooms has hit more speed bumps after asbestos and "significant" black mould was found, causing a delay to the completion date and further costs.

Asbestos and “significant” black mould has been found in the earthquake-damaged Redwood Plunket rooms, increasing the cost of the repair project by $25,000.

The repair work was originally planned to be finished at the end of June, but has now been pushed back to November.

In June last year, Mayor Lianne Dalziel questioned whether repairing the old building was in the city council’s best interests.

She said it was a challenge to make the decision to grant a further $45,000 for the project, which was originally budgeted at $30,000, as the city council was not provided with a detailed report.

Ms Dalziel said the repairs would only get the building to 67 per cent of the new building standard.

“It will still be old, still be unimproved, and still be poorly insulated. It has old services and contains significant inherent maintenance issues,” she said.

However, Ms Dalziel said those comments were made during a debate when further funding was granted for the repairs under an amendment to the Annual Plan that was not accompanied by a staff report and the detailed options.

A city council spokeswoman said Ms Dalziel’s view was not supported, but in her role as mayor she supports the decision that was made.

An extra $25,000 is required to remove the asbestos and mould, bringing the budget to $100,000.

A city council spokesman said the process to get a contractor has been delayed due to the initial cost coming in over the project’s budget allocation.

Once started the project is expected to take three months to complete. The building will be home to a social worker, who is funded by the Papanui-Innes Community Board, and a community gathering space.

When applying for additional funding, the community board said the facility was desperately needed in the area.