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.

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