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Work to begin restoring Gisborne’s Cenotaph

Media Release

Work to begin restoring Gisborne’s Cenotaph

Work to restore Gisborne’s historic Cenotaph will begin next Monday following months of investigations and consultation with experts.

The restoration, expected to take about ten months, will see the Cenotaph repaired and restored in time for the Anzac Day Centenary commemorations in 2015.

The $725,000 physical works contract has been awarded to Gisborne’s Currie Construction after a tender process and negotiations regarding methodology. Currie Construction have partnered with specialist stone masons AB Conservation who will undertake the masonry work. The total cost of the restoration project is expected to be just under $1 million.

David Wilson Gisborne District Council projects and development manager says work will begin on Monday morning following a blessing on the site at 8am.

“The Cenotaph was damaged and the upper shaft rotated in the December 2007 earthquake just over six years ago. The first job is to remove the lions and steps, which will be restored off site. At the end of the month, pile-testing work will begin utilising the equipment from the War Memorial Theatre project. On-site work will then slow as some components are fabricated off site ready for their installation.”

‘There is a lot involved in this restoration. New piles will be made, the core of the cenotaph prepared, and a new internal steel support structure made. We will then start excavating and installing the new piles, foundations and the steel core. At that stage we can shift the top of the shaft back into position.”

“The final job will be to reinstate the soldier which was removed in mid-2013 and later put on public display at Marina Park. If you have not been down to have a close up look at the detail of the soldier you should do so now while he is still on temporary display.”

The work is funded through a $617,000 grant from the Lottery Grants Board and through the Council’s insurance for damage sustained through the quake.

Working alongside Architects 44 and Currie Construction in the project team are structural engineers Spencer Holmes, conservation engineer Salmond Reed Architects, geotechnical engineer McManus Consulting and NZ Historic Places Trust heritage adviser, Robin Byron.

All are welcome to attend the 8am blessing at the Cenotaph 8am on Monday 20 January.

ENDS

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