Remedial work to Millers Acre Centre

07/05/2020 3:35pm

Nelson City Council is undertaking urgent work to repair and remediate parts of the Millers Acre Centre following the discovery of black mould (Stachybotrys chartarum) and water damage to several parts of the building.

The Council commissioned a detailed report assessing ongoing issues with the building’s water-tightness in January, which found leaking had occurred. The report also found that mould had been discovered in four parts of the building. 

A further specialist report was commissioned and returned last month with the finding that cracks in the cladding of the building, on the corner of Trafalgar and Halifax Streets, had allowed moisture to seep inside and cause damage. Mould testing in the affected sites found a strain of Stachybotrys chartarum in air and wall samples taken from the iSite. Mould was also found at three other sites, Datacom, Simply New Zealand and the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Office.

The iSite area has now been closed and the tenants informed that they cannot access parts of the building. Council will work with the tenants to minimise the impact of the disruption on their business and support them where we can during this time. The risk to the health of staff who have occupied the building is considered low and Council is seeking further advice on this.   

Work to remediate, disinfect and repair the damaged areas began on Monday, 4 May and is expected to be completed during the Level 3 period. Further testing will then be carried out to ensure the Centre is suitable for both tenants and the general public to return to. 

Council plans to do a cladding renewal in 2020/21 to ensure the building is watertight, with funding to be allocated through the Annual Plan. Council is investigating what options are available to address the cost of repairing the building.

Chair of the Governance and Finance Committee Councillor Rachel Sanson said while the discovery of damage to a Council-owned building was always disappointing, COVID-19 did create an opportunity to complete the urgent mould treatment work, while the building was largely unoccupied.

“Council was deeply concerned by the discovery of mould in the Millers Acre building and has moved with haste to remedy these issues for our tenants and the wider community. We want to make sure the Centre is in a fit state for both tenants and visitors alike when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.”

It was planned that the Centre, built-in 2005, was to become the new home for the Welcome Cloak artwork but Council will now consider alternative locations for the artwork at the Art Selection Panel meeting in June.