Report for Masterton Town Hall work

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz -
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The 100-year-old council building which is waiting for an engineer's report. PHOTO/ANDREW BONALLACK
The 100-year-old council building which is waiting for an engineer's report. PHOTO/ANDREW BONALLACK

A structural engineering report has been commissioned by Masterton District Council on the Town Hall and the council's Chapel St offices, before carrying out this year's planned interior renovation programme.

The 100-year-old municipal building has an earthquake rating of 40 per cent of the existing building code, just above the legal requirement of 34 per cent. The aim will be to increase this figure to at least 67 per cent when the renovations have been done.

Council chief executive Pim Borren said it is "prudent to consider the long-term future of the building before investing in any improvements to the public and staff areas".

"We are no different to any other building owner in Masterton. We have the same responsibility to provide a safe environment that we expect from other owners and other councils around New Zealand.

"If we discover that the building is earthquake prone and in need of significant strengthening work, then we will consider what options we have, taking into account our health and safety responsibilities.

"The building is 100 years old next month and is on the Wairarapa Combined District Plan Heritage Register, so it's important that council weighs up the best course of action once they have received the report.

"We are holding off on some interior alterations for the time being, as it makes more sense to undertake any necessary work at the same time."

In late 2014 the council voted $84,763 in the 2015/16 budget for refurbishment of some of the council's offices. This was largely to replace threadbare carpeted areas which had not been refreshed for at least 25 years. The interior changes would also involve some re-arrangement of interior walls.

This work is now on hold until the engineer's report has been done.

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