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Schools briefed on Molesworth Street building removal

Wellington earthquake update #24 –Tuesday 22 November, 8pm

Schools briefed on Molesworth Street building removal

Thorndon schools and pre-schools were briefed this afternoon by Wellington City Council on how the quake-damaged office block at 61 Molesworth Street will be deconstructed by the property’s owner Prime Property.

Schools and Ministry of Education representatives heard that some asbestos had been identified in the building and that Wellington City Council and demolition company CERES had a management plan for its removal, along with the disposal of other building materials.

“As the demolition takes place, water will constantly be sprayed on the building to help contain dust from building materials, including asbestos,” says Wellington’s Emergency Operations Centre Local Controller Simon Fleisher. “At all times water will be sprayed on the building material. This will happen until all the material is removed from the site.

“The level of asbestos dust will be constantly monitored at a number of places around the site and if it becomes too high, deconstruction work will be stopped immediately,” he said.

All material from the building will be moved in covered trucks and disposed of appropriately.

The deconstruction will initially focus on the Molesworth Street façade of the building and then work progressively to the rear of the site.

The plan is to make the front of the site safe in a few days and that will enable the partial opening of Molesworth Street to vehicles and pedestrians and allow more buildings, for example the Embassy of Thailand and NZ Rugby headquarters, to be reopened.

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