Ban­nock­burn Hall wins re­prieve

Sec­ond re­port gives stone build­ing the OK

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Af­ter a three-year lock­down, a hall once ear­marked for de­mo­li­tion is open­ing its doors for a party.

A pot luck tea at The Ban­nock­burn Corona­tion Hall is to be held on Sun­day and will be the first event at the hall since March 2011, when the build­ing was red-stick­ered and ear­marked for de­mo­li­tion af­ter a coun­cil en­gi­neer’s re­port.

The re­port as­sessed the build­ing as high risk in the event of an earthquake, say­ing in the event of a mod­er­ate earthquake or even a high wind the build­ing was at risk of ‘‘cat­a­strophic col­lapse’’.

The com­mu­nity re­ceived the long-awaited good news last month that its hall would not be de­mol­ished, hav­ing met new build­ing codes to a ‘‘sur­pris­ing’’ stan­dard.

Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil property and fa­cil­i­ties man­ager Mike Kerr said a sec­ond en­gi­neer’s re­port had found the hall met about 80 per cent of the Na­tional Build­ing Stan­dards.

Af­ter a push from a fac­tion of the com­mu­nity, the coun­cil com­mis­sioned a sec­ond re­port, the find­ings of which were re­leased pub­licly last month.

Kerr said: ‘‘The in­for­ma­tion in the re­port at the time left the coun­cil with no other op­tion but to close the hall for safety rea­sons.

‘‘Since then, and with ad­vance­ment af­ter the Christchurch earthquakes of as­sess­ment meth­ods for earthquake prone­ness, fur­ther ad­vice had been sought. The sec­ond en­gi­neer­ing as­sess­ment is con­sid­er­ably more de­tailed.’’

How­ever, the vari­ance in as­sess­ment con­clu­sions was ‘‘sur­pris­ing’’, he said.

Al­though it took time to se­cure the ser­vices of Hadley Robin­son en­gi­neers, the coun­cil and Ban­nock­burn Com­mu­nity Cen­tre Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee Inc (BCCMCI) felt it was im­por­tant to se­cure the ser­vices of an en­gi­neer with sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence in as­sess­ing stone build­ings and re­cently ad­vanced as­sess­ment method­ol­ogy, he said.

BCCMCI chair Kerry Stain­tonHer­bert said the com­mu­nity was feel­ing pos­i­tive and wanted to do some­thing to cel­e­brate the hall’s re­open­ing.

‘‘We have put out to the friends of the hall and Ban­nock­burn res­i­dents. We de­cided to have a com­mu­nity tea— it’s just to cel­e­brate the re­open­ing of the hall. We are wait­ing with bated breath to see how many will come.’’

Stain­ton-Her­bert said the com­mu­nity was sur­prised at the out­come— and de­lighted.

‘‘It could have been a $1.3 mil­lion rebuild that may never have been able to be raised. Now there are more op­tions and we do (re­pairs) in stages.

The stage would need to be re­paired ur­gently be­cause there had al­ready been two book­ing in­quiries for wed­dings, the first be­ing in Oc­to­ber, she said. The hall would also be used for the Bat­tle of Ban­nock­burn later this month, she said.

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