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$500,000 Grant for Carnegie Building Strengthening

The plans for strengthening the Carnegie Building have taken a major step forward with a grant of $500,000 awarded to Westland District Council by the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund. Once completed, the project will bring the building up to 100% NBS IL 2 - one of the highest standards for this type of building.

“The Carnegie Building has special significance for locals, it is something that generates community pride and is part of the cultural and heritage identity of Hokitika” says Mayor Bruce Smith. “Council has incorporated the strengthening work and the development of a new museum into the Long Term Plan 2018-28 and we want to have the building completed and operable again as soon as possible.”

Receipt of the grant follows two years of planning that has included the preparation of strengthening plans for the building, reports on the future options for the building, and an extensive feasibility study into the concept of a New Zealand Centre for Pounamu and new museum.

Required strengthening includes the creation of new foundations, installation of steel framing around the perimeter together with installation of a large concrete bracing wall, ceiling diaphragm and finishing work. The project is expected to cost around $1 million and will be predominantly funded by the Lottery Grant and the Westland District Council’s Development West Coast Major District Initiative funding that was approved earlier in the year. The Council aims to call for tenders for the project within the next month.

“The work is expected to take around a year and the intention is to have the work completed and the building operating as a museum exhibition and gallery for the 2020 summer season” Mr Smith reported. “Longer term the vision is to replace the adjoining Drummond and Pioneer Halls with a new museum and visitor experience and develop the entire site into an attractive community and visitor cultural precinct.”

Recognised as one of Hokitika’s landmark heritage buildings, the building was constructed in 1908 with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation and has a Category 2 historic listing with Heritage New Zealand. In 1998 the community raised around $1 million and undertook a project to restore the building.


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