Detailed engineering assessments for Luggate Hall
QLDC media advisory - Luggate Hall
Detailed engineering assessments will be carried out on the Luggate Memorial Hall after an initial seismic assessment estimated that the building’s Design Basis Earthquake Rating was approximately 20% of the requirement for a public hall of its type. Under the Building Act, that makes the hall potentially earthquake-prone.
Queenstown Lakes District Chief Executive Mike Theelen said that the hall had been assessed as part of the Council’s routine seismic assessments of all its buildings, commencing in 2014.
“We have accepted advice from structural engineers that the building may have a weakness in its design relating to its unreinforced mud brick exterior cladding and that further detailed assessments should be undertaken,” Mr Theelen said.
“We are in the process of contacting all the regular community users and others with bookings to let them know. A Public Safety Notice will be prominently displayed that lets people know that the building is potentially earthquake-prone so that they can make their own decision before they enter about whether they feel comfortable using the facility.”
The Initial seismic assessment is based on study of the plans and a limited visual assessment of the building. The Detailed Seismic Assessment will involve removing portions of the cladding and interior wall boards to look at the internal structure and will provide a much higher level of certainty about the building’s condition. There will also be specific computer modelling of how the building would perform in a moderate earthquake.
Mr Theelen said staff had considered engineering and legal advice about whether the hall should be closed immediately. It had also considered the likely inconvenience to users, including the Festival of Colour this month and Luggate community groups on a regular basis, as there is no alternative building for many of their activities in Luggate.
Once the further investigations have been carried out, the Council will discuss with the Luggate community what the options are for the long term.
The initial seismic assessment on the Luggate Hall is available here