BEHIND the murals that conceal the exposed shell of the burnt-out former Angus Gemmell building, work is underway on Marine Parade’s new development.
The main street revitalisation project has taken months of planning and preparation with physical works about to become more visible.
Contractors have been on site carrying out demolition, repair and strengthening work in preparation for the building phase.
Three businesses have been allocated a space within the development following a robust Expressions of Interest process.
The development will include a hospitality pod and an indoor/outdoor space and open courtyard area.
Foundation work for the installation of earthquake strengthening steel has begun, with QRS staff marking out the concrete foundations to lay the ground beams for the steel strengthening portals which will line the wall columns and overhead beams.
An archaeologist will be onsite to oversee the underground work and to ensure protocols are followed for any items discovered during the earthworks.
Once the strengthening work is complete, the groundwork for plumbing and drainage will take place before a new concrete foundation is laid.
Recycling and reusing materials from the Gemmell’s building is a strong focus of the project as well as using sustainable products, such as wool insulation for the walls and ceilings.
Timber beams retrieved from the former Gemmell’s building will feature in the new courtyard development along with two steel safe doors which tell a story about the building’s history.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said an exciting stage of the development has been reached where physical work can be seen and the project is starting to take shape.
“A key component is engaging local contractors where possible, and we are celebrating the depth and calibre of the tradespeople and workmanship that we have in Wairoa and are able to utilise over this project.
“It is great to have our local youth and workforce training involved in different aspects of the project. This project is a community partnership and is providing employment now, and for the future, as we train our tradespeople of tomorrow.”
Te Wairoa E Whanake - Rise Up and Grow Wairoa, is a significant economic development initiative to assist in the revitalisation of Wairoa’s Central Business District. It is predominantly funded through a successful Provincial Growth Fund Application. Mr Little acknowledged Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit Principal Regional Advisor for Hawke's Bay Cameron Osmond who has oversight of the project and has supported Wairoa in the work that has been achieved so far.
Mayoral Task Force/The POD
A TEAM of young graduates from Wairoa EIT’s Level 3 Building and Construction course have picked up their tools and begun work on the hospitality pod, a compact retail space within the main street courtyard development.
The opportunity for Te Hemopo Whai, Jono Rumble and Seth Walker, to work on the project arose from the desire to inspire and encourage local youth into the work force.
The team began working on the pod around five weeks ago and have sailed through each stage of the project under the teaching of local builder and former EIT tutor Will Kereru.
Kereru says the work is a great opportunity for young locals to begin a career in the building industry by learning and applying new skills.
“It’s ideal to be able to provide this group with an experience to learn on the job and take these skills into their future careers.”
The shell of the POD is made out of a steel structure with a Colorsteel roof and timber cladding with large timber doors. The interior will feature a counter and food display with a covered cooking area.
The graduates turned employees are being supported through the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs employment programme which has helped provide them with tools, workwear and health and safety equipment to set them up for their trade career.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little is a Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs Core Group member and supports the group’s focus to strive towards zero youth unemployment.
Mr Little said it is a win win situation to have Central Government funding improvements for the district through post-COVID stimulus funding and an employment strategy that aims to see our local people in sustainable employment.
“The work that is being achieved is just fantastic and would not have happened without input at many levels, from the Cameron Osmond of the Provincial Development Unit to local contractors who are bringing the project together. I know our community and iwi can only benefit from these improvements.”
Graduates of EIT Wairoa’s Level 3 Building and Construction course are putting their learned skills into action constructing the hospitality pod for the main street revitalisation courtyard development. The graduates were excited to receive their tools and workwear through the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs recently. Pictured from left are, Stan Hooper, Kenneth Murray McGregor, Te Hemopo Whai, Jonathan Rumble, Will Kereru and Seth Walker.
Where we are at
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