Next phase of 'Heart' project under way - 2/12/2005The Wanganui District Council's strategy committee unanimously gave the green light yesterday to the next stage of the ambitious 'Heart of Wanganui' project.
At its meeting in the Council Chambers, the strategy committee approved the contracting of the services of Auckland architect David Mitchell and leading architectural academic Tony van Raat. Both men will work with the Heart Working Party to refine and cost those options that will be presented for public consultation in early 2006.
"There was also discussion around what happens next, and a clear strategy was outlined," said Mayor Michael Laws.
"The Working Party, with this professional assistance, draws up the best and most feasible options. We have those options signed off by the full council and then presented for public viewing and comment. Then, probably at the end of next year, there will be a referendum on which of the choices Wanganui selects. Every ratepayer and resident will have their say," said Mr Laws.
Mr Laws said that the library redevelopment was likely to lead the Heart project "because it is the council's most utilised and visited facility. They are delighted to be the flagship for the Heart project because they have been rightly pointing out to council, for many years, that they are too distant from both the central city and their client base."
The council has set aside $110,000 this financial year to develop working concepts for the Heart project.
The Heart project will include the Davis and Alexander libraries, the museum, the Sarjeant Art Gallery, the War Memorial Hall, the Veteran Steps, the War Memorial forecourt and Majestic Square in its design briefs.