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Christchurch City Council is today closing the Hei Hei Community Centre building after receiving the results of a Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE) assessment that show it is earthquake-prone.
Engineers have assessed the building as having a seismic capacity of 18 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS). The assessment has also shown that parts of the eastern and western sides of the building have unreinforced masonry walls, which are defined as a critical structural weakness. Councillors have agreed to close all buildings that are assessed as below 34 percent of the NBS, which means they are earthquake-prone.
General Manager Community Services Michael Aitken says the Council is aware of the building’s importance to the local community and the disruption its closure will cause.
“We’re conscious of the inconvenience this will cause the community groups who use the centre and others who have booked the venue for upcoming events. However, the safety of those using the centre is paramount and it’s important that they are not put at risk in the event of more earthquakes.”
Council staff have advised affected community groups and will hold a meeting later today (2 November) to give them the opportunity to find out more about the closure process.
The closest alternative Council-owned community centre is the Harvard Community Lounge, Corsair Drive, Wigram. Bookings can be made via the Council website at www.ccc.govt.nz or by calling 941 8999. This facility has already undergone a DEE assessment and is above 34 percent of the NBS.
The Council is carrying out DEE assessments of its buildings following the earthquakes as part of its Facilities Rebuild Plan project. The assessments help to determine the level of damage a building has sustained in the earthquakes and its capacity to withstand future earthquakes, expressed as a percentage of the New Building Standard. They also help the Council to make an informed decision about whether a building should continue to be occupied.
All long term decisions about Hei Hei Community Centre building will also be made as part of the Facilities Rebuild Plan project.
A final copy of the engineering report for the community centre will be available on the Council website at www.ccc.govt.nz/facilitiesrebuild.