Why do we need a new building?
Te Manawa isn’t one building – it is a complex of nine buildings that have been adapted over many years to serve a purpose for which they were not originally designed.
The buildings have served the people of Palmerston North well, but some of our storage and administrative spaces are earthquake prone. Our collection stores are full, and our digital capacity is restricted by the age and materials of the spaces in which we work.
We believe a new, modern, purpose-built and more sustainable building will solve the challenges we currently face, and let us increase the quality of the programmes and exhibitions we can offer. At the moment our public space is smaller than what lies behind-the-scenes. We’d like to flip that around.
What’s happened so far?
In August 2017 the Palmerston North City Council resolved that Te Manawa progress high-level planning and business case development for the creation of an ‘Arts and Cultural Powerhouse’ and/or ‘Regional Asset With National Draw’) to enable consideration of its proposals as part of the Long Term Plan 2018-28. This work is completed and is currently being consulted on as part of the Long Term Plan – Council has put up three options for the public to consider – you can find out more here.
What’s it going to cost?
Based on the research we’ve undertaken so far, we estimate it to cost up to $58 million ($69M once inflation is taken into account) to redevelop the 9,000 square meters that Te Manawa currently occupies. These costs are indicative only and are based on similar projects already undertaken elsewhere. As we engage more with the wider public, we’ll have a better idea of what is needed.
Where will the money come from?
Up to one-third will come from Palmerston North ratepayers through the Palmerston North City Council. The rest of the money will be raised by a soon to be established fundraising committee that will apply for funds through government, sponsorship and grants. It’s going to be a big challenge that will help define the future of our home.
What will happen to existing buildings?
We need the community to help us answer this question. While it is very likely that the complex of buildings housing the Museum operations will be removed and a new building built, no decision has been reached on the future of the Art Gallery.
The historic buildings like the homestead and schoolhouse will be incorporated into the build – they might end up inside the building or placed on a platform overlooking it!
We’ll also need to work with the Globe and the Palmerston North Convention Centre to ensure our building works in with their buildings.
So what happens in the meantime?
Te Manawa will continue business as usual with its events, exhibitions and maintenance of existing buildings. We are focused on ensuring every person has the best experience that we can possibly deliver and we’ll do our best to deliver this right up until opening day!