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Bannockburn Hall Building Project

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The proposed upgrade of the Bannockburn Hall has been put on hold.

As part of the building consent process to rebuild the stage, due to structural issues associated with it, as well as simultaneously upgrading the Bannockburn Hall, an Engineer's Assessment Report was required. This was to find out whether the existing Hall met the Council's Earthquake Prone Building Policy requirements. The minimum standard is 33% of the Building Code.

According to the Engineer's Report, the building was assessed as reaching only 25% of the building code, and stated there was a "very high risk of complete structural failure of all stone walls in a moderate earthquake event". It also identified that the front parapets over the entranceway would likely experience a catastrophic failure. The Report advised "there is an unacceptable risk of multiple death or serious injury and loss of the building fabric".

As the owner of the Bannockburn Hall and due to the seriousness of the contents of the Engineer's Report, the Cromwell Community Board had no option other than to agree to close the Hall for public use. Neil Gillespie the Community Board Chair said he "Realises that the closure of the Hall will be a tremendous loss to the Bannockburn Community, however the risk to and the safety of all hall users could not be overlooked by the Board."

Council's Property and Facilities Manager, Mike Kerr said "While the Report was commissioned prior to the devastating earthquake in Christchurch on 22 February, that event has reinforced the need not to be complacent and that minimum standards have been put in place for a good reason."

The options identified by the engineer were to either; build an internal skeleton and line the inside to ensure the roof remains supported and walls fall outward to protect occupants; or to demolish and rebuild. While the first option would protect the people in the building, the likely result should still be destruction of the Hall and potential risk to people in close proximity to the building.

At its meeting on 14 March, the Board agreed "in principle" to the Bannockburn Bannockburn Community Centre Management Committee Incorporated's (BCCMCI) request to rebuild the Hall.

Plans and specifications will be prepared for the new building along with the estimated costs to enable the Board and the BCCMCI to consider the funding options.

Because the decision to rebuild the hall is significant, the Board plans to seek community feedback, either as a separate consultation process or as part of the consultation process for the Council's Long Term Plan (LTP) 2012/22.

The Board confirmed that, should the agreement "in principle" to rebuild be confirmed, it would still make available the $140,000 towards the hall upgrade project.

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