Released on 19 April 2005 News
The modernisation works to Stratford-on-Avon District Council's headquarters, Elizabeth House, are nearing completion. The project, in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon's Old Town area, is being hailed as a success by the council.
A public open day is being held next Wednesday 27 April, with tours of the building at 10.00am, 12.00noon, 2.00pm and 4.00pm. Anyone is welcome to attend to look around the building and see the improvements for themselves.
"The results of the refurbishment are much better than we had anticipated given the age and physical condition of the building," said Cllr Brian Slaughter, chairman of the project's monitoring group.
"Major improvements to layout and access have been achieved, we have managed to bring forward a ten-year window replacement programme within the current project, and Elizabeth House has a much greater floor area than we would ever have been able to afford from new build offices. A new electricity sub-station has been built to cope with all the extra high-tech equipment needed to deliver our services.
"One of the biggest costs was a £2m new boiler, which means heating the building will be far more efficient. Careful design has resulted in 9,000 square feet of excess space that can be commercially rented, providing an income for the council.
"By making the decision to refurbish rather than move to new build offices, the public, councillors and staff have retained a town centre location for all council services. All of this has been incorporated with the original works, due to the skill of the project team and careful monitoring.
"I would particularly like to thank the council's staff for their patience in working around the refurbishments, whilst still delivering high quality services to the district's communities. Our neighbours in Church Street and the surrounding area also need to be thanked for their tolerance of all the noise and disturbance, especially as these were over some weekends."
Work started on the modernisation of Elizabeth House in October 2003 after the Council decided in January 2003 to tackle essential repairs, Health & Safety issues and compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has been in Elizabeth House since 1985 after it bought the premises from NFU Mutual Insurance. The building was named after the late Queen Mother, who officially opened it in April 1985. The original office complex, before it became Elizabeth House, was built in stages between the 1920's and 1960's and was not up to the requirements of modern day office working, particularly with the ever-increasing use of computers. The Council also had been faced with escalating maintenance and repair costs.
For further details contact
Mike Ashley, head of construction and property
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Tel: 01789 260660