Council's facelift coming along
Work is well under way on the refurbishment of the ground floor of Wodonga Council's Hovell St offices, which includes a new lift to make the building more accessible and safer for staff and visitors.
About 60 per cent of the demolition works have now been completed on site.
The Hovell St building is more than 40 years old and has had minimal renewal funds allocated to its upkeep over many years.
The council purchased space on level one from vacating tenant North East Water in 2014, which was a strategic decision made by councillors to secure control of the building and allow for long-term accommodation needs of council.
Following the acquisition, council proposed to upgrade the building to bring it up to a suitable standard, including addressing a number of age-related building defects and non-compliant building issues such as non-compliant disability access, lift access, staff and public amenities.
Many areas in the building are in original condition and are well past intervention levels.
"We made a decision as council to stay in this building," Cr John Watson said at October's council meeting.
"We have had the hard work of council staff who bring great new assets into the building such as our new council chamber, so it's important that we do these changes to bring the building up to accessibility standard.
"I commend and congratulate all the staff bringing to us, and more so to the community, great things to keep this building going for many years to come without us investing millions of dollars in a new building."
Work began on the refurbishment at the end of last year, which will see the customer focus area updated to be more accessible and safer for staff and visitors.
A new lift will be installed as part of the refurbishment, with the lift components still in the manufacturing stage and happening off site.
The lift, to be part of the new entryway, will go from the car park level to the second floor where North East Catchment Management Authority is located.
The lift will meet accessibility standards for the community to access the public areas of the building, including customer service and the new public toilets and Council Chamber.
A second lift will replace the existing internal lift within the existing structure. It is more than 30 years old.
The lifts will take about 20 weeks to manufacture plus another eight weeks to install.
The refurbishment works have a completion date of spring this year.