The Timaru Herald

Cost to repair gallery roof lowered

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Work on Timaru’s public art gallery continues with only a third of the historic building’s roof now required to be repaired.

A progress report on the Aigantighe Art Gallery House Gallery seismic repairs project, to be tabled at tomorrow’s Timaru District Council community services committee meeting, says the methodolog­y to assess and repair the building has been confirmed.

“This has been a good outcome following the previous report to the Community Services Committee in March whereby it was anticipate­d that the entire roof would require replacemen­t,’’ the report, written by property projects officer Matt Sisson and property services and client representa­tive manager Nicole Timney says.

That report had highlighte­d the discovery of borer, suggesting the entire roof structure might need to be replaced.

However, the latest update says the level of repairs required had reduced signifcant­ly because of “the effective borer treatment and a detailed structural inspection’’.

“Officers are investigat­ing two of the large chimneys for structural stability and the structural engineer’s strategy for repair,’’ the report says.

The status of that work would be reported at the council’s next standing committee meeting.

The project remains within agreed timelines and budget and of the $3.7 million budgeted for the work, for the financial year to March 29, $703,396 has been spent so far, the report says.

The 118-year-old house closed in 2017 after it was found to be just 10% of the seismic New Building Standard.

Designed by James S Turnbull, Aigantighe (Scottish Gaelic for “home of welcome”) was built in 1905 for Alexander Grant and Helen Grant, who had emigrated from Scotland and farmed Gray’s Hills Station in the Mackenzie Country.

The Grant family lived at Aigantighe for 50 years. Alexander Grant died in 1920 at the age of 89, and his wife, Helen, in 1955, aged 101. Their daughter, Jessie Wigley, with the support of her brother, James Grant, who inherited the house on their mother’s death, gifted the house and its grounds to the people of Timaru in October 1955 to establish the district’s first and only public art gallery.

 ?? JOHN BISSET/THE TIMARU HERALD ?? An aerial view of Timaru’s Aigantighe Art Gallery, with the House Gallery wrapped.
JOHN BISSET/THE TIMARU HERALD An aerial view of Timaru’s Aigantighe Art Gallery, with the House Gallery wrapped.

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