Whanganui people will soon be able to get a better grasp of the multi-million dollar Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment - including a birds eye view of the site.

Several events next week will enable the community to hear more and see more of the $34.8 million project, which may get a start date in late 2017.

Next Friday architects Roy Wilson and Ralph Roberts from Warren and Mahoney architects will give details of the proposed redevelopment. They will be joined by specialist engineer Philip Yong, an expert in base isolation, the technique being used to earthquake strengthen the 97-year-old gallery.

Next Saturday the public will be able to walk through a to scale layout, or "The Blueprint", of the proposed gallery extension, pegged out on the site at the back of the existing gallery in Pukenamu Queen's Park.

Advertisement

A cherry picker will also take people up to the height of a proposed viewing window at the back of the new gallery.

Pre-booked tours of the original heritage Sarjeant Gallery building will take place on the hour from 11am to 3pm. Each tour is restricted to 12 people. The gallery has also organised a number of fun family activities in the park.

Sarjeant Gallery Trust chairman Nicola Williams said the redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery involves restoration and earthquake strengthening of the original building and the addition of a new, state of the art gallery.

She said the new wing will provide much needed storage for the extensive and nationally significant Sarjeant art collection along with additional gallery space, education facilities and a café.

To date the trust has raised $11 million. Whanganui District Council has contributed $5 million towards the project.

The level of private funding and the national significance of the Sarjeant Gallery art collection qualified the Sarjeant Gallery Trust to apply for $10 million in funds from the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Mrs Williams says a number of other significant funding grants that will make up the shortfall are in the pipeline.

She said the latest quantity survey has confirmed the cost of the project at $34.8 million and, if everything goes to plan, construction could get underway towards the end of next year.

"In Whanganui we have an internationally significant art collection that is rated as one of the best in the country.

"The redevelopment will give us a world class facility that has the potential to put Whanganui on the map as a 'must visit' arts destination bringing millions of dollars in economic benefits."

She said it's hoped Whanganui residents and people living further afield who have an interest in the project will make the most of the opportunity to come along to the

Blueprint installation on the Pukenamu Queen's Park site on Saturday, November 12, and judge the merits of the project for themselves.

Programme:
Sarjeant Redevelopment Presentation: 6m Friday, November 11 - Alexander Heritage and Research Library Whanganui. Free admission
Sarjeant Gallery Pukenamu Queen's Park - Saturday, November 12. Walk around the new extension installation "The Blueprint" 10:30am to 3:30pm. Guided tours of the original building will depart on the hour from 11am to 3pm - maximum 12 people per tour. To pre-book call the Sarjeant Gallery on 06 349 0506