whatsoninvers.nz has been made aware that redevelopment of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery has been given the green light although strenuous efforts to have this confirmed have as yet come to naught.
It’s understood that the pryamid style will be recreated and will be enlarged. However we’ve been informed that the new structure won’t be much taller than the present structure due to Civil Aviation regulations regarding incoming flights.
To add further spice to the news whatsoninvers has been informed that the new building will be the new home for Invercargill City Council staff and councillors.
Councillors that we have endeavoured to contact have declared no comment or have become unreachable.
However several councillors and executive staff have been observed coming and going lately from City Council HQ with worried looks, a sure sign that something is afoot. However one councillor that we won’t identify said “this is a grave concern, where will all this end?” before scurrying off.
The widely acclaimed museum as closed abrutbly about this time last year with the City Council siting safety concerns for staff and vistors.
The closure affected over 40 jobs and deprived the city of one of its main visitor attractions.
We’ve also learned that funding a complete new state of the art museum / city council admin building is all but a fait accompli with money, and lots of it originating off shore.
Extensive enquiries have so far proved fruitless as to exactly where the money is coming from but we’ve been assured that the investment is being regarded by the lenders as “small change in the overall scheme of things”
When we asked our source to elaborate on this our phone suddenly went dead. Several attempts to reconnect have been unsuccessful.
City council staff also gave us the no comment message, some being seen to actively avoid engagement with whatsoninvers.
One council observer was overheard saying that the new pyramid building should easily house the downsized Council staff compliment. But the observer muttered who’d get the pointy bit at the top, Shadbolt or Hadley?
Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt and Council CEO Clare Hadley have not returned our calls and emails and quickly became unavailable when we tried to speak with them at the Council chambers.
Connections with the wider world wide museum and art gallery communities have all said to combine the activities of such bodies with a city council adminstration function had not been heard of before.
One high placed source described the plan as “interesting, we’ve not come across this function sharing concept before”
Drumbeats from the City Council suggest that the (pretty) radical redevelopment will get underway as soon as possible.
One source in the wider construction community said having several other major projects on the go or about to get underway is a concern but in cases like this, money talks.
The fact that the cat is out of the bag has forced Council top brass to call an urgent press conference at ICC Chambers at midday today to hopefully confirm this development.