Quake report to help trust

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The receipt of a final structural strengthening report next month will enable the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust to make long-term decisions about some of their buildings.

The Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust (OWCT) hopes to receive the report, covering 13 or their 15 buildings in the Harbour/Tyne St area, in February.

OWCT chairman Peter Garvan said they were looking forward to getting the final report so they could establish major strategic goals.

Each of the buildings must meet 34 per cent of the Building Code requirements, but Mr Garvan hoped they might be able to bring some up to the guide of 67 per cent depending on what the report said.

Performance and earthquake risks are factors in the per centages an earthquake-prone building is one whose seismic performance is less than 34 per cent of the requirements under the new building standards.

“Once we get the report then we’ll look at it.

“We’ll have a fresh look at everything and work out what our priorities are.”

The trust accepted the quote for the report about 18 months ago and received an interim report in early December.

However, Mr Garvan said he could not discuss the details until the final report had been received.

The trust has received grants of more than $40,000 to go towards covering the majority of the report costs, he said.

Aside from the report, OWCT is giving priority to the ongoing maintenance of all their buildings.

“They need painting, new roofs and gutters, and need to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

The Loan and Merc building has been identified as one of the key buildings requiring substantial investment in the next five years.

They hoped to be able to make the upstairs floor more accessible by adding toilets and possibly a lift.

If they could merge restrengthening with a general upgrade for some of the buildings, including the Loan and Merc, then they would, the chairman said.

By Ruby Harfield

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD – The three-storey Loan and Merc building, one of the 13 buildings in the coming structural strengthening report, has also been identified as a key building requiring substantial investment.