Sec­ond stage of de­mo­li­tion com­plete

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - BEN AULAKH

A South Can­ter­bury Dis­trict Health Board build­ing at Ti­maru Hos­pi­tal lit­er­ally bit the dust on Thursday.

A Rooney Earth­mov­ing dig­ger helped re­duce the ad­min­is­tra­tion block to rub­ble in the sec­ond stage of a de­mo­li­tion process to re­move two earth­quake prone build­ings from the site.

The first build­ing knocked down was Kowhai House, which stood next door to the now-for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tion block. It was de­mol­ished in mid-Septem­ber.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion block was orig­i­nally timetabled for de­mo­li­tion in May, with Kowhai house to follow soon after.

A board spokes­woman on Thursday said the ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, which was built in 1931, was the long­stand­ing home of the board’s hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion ser­vices.

How­ever, the brick build­ing’s mode of con­struc­tion contributed to it be­ing deemed a seis­mic risk. It was ’’there­fore no longer fit for pur­pose’’.

Both build­ings were evac­u­ated and closed after the 2011 Can­ter­bury earth­quakes. It was then that en­gi­neers de­ter­mined the build­ings had a ‘high seis­mic risk’ .

The board pre­vi­ously ad­vised the space va­cated by the two build­ings would be lev­elled and used for emer­gency park­ing.

The site would be fur­ther de­vel­oped in the fu­ture.

Kowhai House was con­demned as it met just 15 per cent of the build­ing code stan­dard. It would have cost $350,000 to bring it up to 50 per cent of the code or $600,000 for 74 per cent.

An af­ter­noon tea was held on Oc­to­ber 6 in the hos­pi­tal’s ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre at which peo­ple from the com­mu­nity had shared their mem­o­ries of the two build­ings.

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