Whanganui's War Memorial Centre will close on Monday, May 7, for the remainder of the year for a $4.59 million upgrade.

The work includes earthquake strengthening to 67 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS). The seismic upgrade involves securing non-load-bearing masonry walls with additional steel poles and adding a reinforced shear wall structure on the forecourt near the main entrance. Steel frames will be inserted at the rear of the auditorium and in the Concert Chamber.

Other work will include upgrades to the air conditioning, electrical work and replacing the seats in the Concert Chamber.

The War Memorial Centre was opened on April 25, 1960 and it has become one of the most celebrated examples of post-war modern architecture in New Zealand. In 1961, the building design was awarded a Gold Medal from the New Zealand Institute of Architects.