Museum ‘not in good shape’
The Rotorua Museum - closed after cracks appeared in the wake of this month’s earthquake - will remained closed for now.
An initial engineers report has revealed the building ‘‘isn’t in good shape’’, according to Museum director Stewart Brown.
Brown said last week that the iconic 100-year-old Museum would remain closed until ‘ at least’ today and that a further engineers report, undertaken on Friday, would reveal more about the state of the building.
However, on Monday council said said there remained no update on when the museum would open again.
‘‘Initial reports from our engineers are that the building isn’t in good shape,’’ Brown said.
‘‘The building has sustained damage, cracking to pillars, walls and beams.’’
Brown said some of the Museum collection had been removed from the building as part of contingency plans, though he said engineers had reassured him ‘‘it’s not in danger of collapse’’.
He said the key reason for the closure of the Museum was the safety of visitors and the 40 staff - who are on special leave at present and still being paid.
He said cracks had appeared ‘‘pretty much throughout the whole building’’ but declined to provide photographs, ‘‘cracks need context’’.
‘‘We’re talking millimetres in most cases,’’ he said.
Brown said it was too early to speculate on the costs involved in getting the building fit to reopen, noting that the main Century-old structure’s reinforcing ‘‘is number eight barbed wire’’.
Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams said insurance cover existed for the building, loss of revenue and the arts collection, and that the insurers had been notified.
‘‘There will be some cover,’’ he said.
Rotorua Lakes Council undertook earthquake risk assessments saying of its buildings in 2011 following the introduction of new regulations prompted by the Christchurch earthquakes.
Several council buildings were identified as being at risk, including the older, central part of the museum which dates back to 1908.
Meanwhile, preparation for earthquake strengthening of the council’s iSite on Fenton Street is underway following the previous precautionary closure of the clock tower part of the building.
The historic part of the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre has also previously been identified as being an earthquake risk.
Rotorua Museum will remained closed for now after last week’s quake.