Saving quake-prone buildings
Fixing and maintaining six earthquake-prone historic buildings is likely too big a challenge for just a group of volunteers, a community board has been told.
The Clyde Historical Museum Group closed its Briar Herb Factory complex – where five of the buildings are located – in 2015 after it was assessed as a danger to the public.
The Museum Group owns 12 historic buildings across three sites in Clyde, including the 110-year-old Clyde Railway Station which was recently brought up to standard.
Museum committee chairperson Claire Higginson said looking after the buildings long-term was ‘‘quite a big challenge’’ for the committee but it was important to have the museum’s presence in town.
‘‘If we want the museum run by us, we have to make some quite important decisions,’’ Higginson said. ‘‘We’ve got to wait until we get some of those [structural] reports.’’
There was also a decision to be made about what would happen to some museum artifacts still held in the dilapidated buildings, she said.
At a Vincent Community Board meeting last week, Central Otago District Council Vincent and Teviot Valley property and facilities officer Christina Martin said there were ’’quite a few structural concerns’’ about the buildings.
How to look after them longterm needed to be addressed and it was ‘‘a big ask’’ for museum volunteers to maintain them all, she said.
‘‘Really we need to look at the feasibility of all those buildings and decide where we’re going to head.
‘‘It’s basically trying to get a plan together about how we’re going to approach it.’’
Martin’s report to the board said a contractor doing regular maintenance of the Herb Factory building ‘‘found that the end wall moved when touched’’ and that’s what brought it ‘‘to a head’’.
Aside from structural issues, looking after the buildings was ’’unsustainable’’ for only volunteers long-term, the report said.
A Lotteries Environment and Heritage Grant application for $41,500 for a detailed engineer’s assessment report had been submitted and a decision was due on May 19.
Project recommendations should be complete by the end of the year, Martin said.