£15m to rescue council HQ

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THE cost of restoring Calderdale Council’s administrative HQ, Northgate House in Halifax, could be nearly £15 million.

The cost has surprised some – especially for a building not yet 30 years old.

Full details of the estimates have now been revealed.

Councillors have been wondering whether to refurbish the 1982 office block for some time and the issue has been revived as they consider wider options for redeveloping the whole Northgate area of Halifax.

The nearby central library is safe but Northgate House could be swept away to make space for new shops.

The council’s economy and environment spokesman Barry Collins said people needed to understand the dilemma and the costs facing the council.

“We need to put the information out there so that we can make sensible choices and recommendations about the best way forward,” said Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

A structural survey was carried out in 2005 and the costings were updated last year.

“This study concluded that the refurbishment tender price for the third quarter of 2011 could reasonably be expected to be in the range of £14.5 million to £15.5 million.”

As well as restoring the roof, which would normally only be expected to last 15 years, the lifts and electrical systems are “at the end of their serviceable life”, the boilers and lights are in a “very poor” condition and the windows need replacing.

Closing it for refurbishment would mean finding alternative accommodation for staff which could cost £2.5 million and the estimate also includes nearly £1.5 million for professional fees associated with the design and building work.

The following is break down of the other costs before the latest update:

About £305,000 for stripping out the building, £543,000 for partitions, £225,000 for doors, £300,000 for floors, £287,000 for ceilings and £119,000 for redecorating.

About £626,000 would be needed for fittings, £2.3 million for service installations, £1 million for the facades, £263,000 for the roof, £134,000 for structural work and £500,000 for external work.

Site management would add another £875,000 and design consultancy £500,000.