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Christchurch City Council has today closed Akaroa Museum after receiving the results of a detailed engineering assessment.
The Council has closed the museum after receiving the results of a qualitative Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE) assessment, which shows most of the museum buildings are below 34 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS). Engineers will now carry out more investigations as part of a quantitative DEE assessment, which will look even more closely at the buildings’ capacity to withstand future earthquakes. This is expected to take up to two months to complete.
General Manager Community Services Michael Aitken says the Council is conscious of the impact the closure will have on a community where it has already closed a number of other buildings as a result of DEE assessments.
“The Akaroa community has been significantly affected with a number of buildings closing. We understand how difficult this has been for residents and we are also mindful that the tourist season is approaching. However, the safety of the public visiting our facilities and our staff who work in them is our priority and it is important that we do not put them at risk in the event of future earthquakes or aftershocks.”
The museum’s three galleries range from seven percent to 32 percent of the NBS while the concourse, which is the main public access into the museum, is 32 percent of the NBS. The storeroom behind the galleries is 43 percent of the NBS. Much of the museum’s collection is currently housed in the store room and museum staff will use this building as temporary offices. Once staff are set up in temporary offices they will be able to continue to answer collections-related and family history enquiries.
The Council is carrying out DEE assessments of its buildings following the earthquakes as part of its Facilities Rebuild Plan project. The assessments allow it to make informed decisions around whether buildings should continue to be occupied. Elected members have agreed to close all Council-owned buildings that are below 34 percent of the NBS.
DEE assessments are also being carried out on the Langlois-Eteveneaux Cottage and the Court House, which are on the Akaroa Museum site. Although the results of these assessments have not yet been received, these buildings are also closed due to visitors not being able to access the museum.
The future of Akaroa Museum will be determined as part of the Council’s Facilities Rebuild Plan. Once the quantitative DEE has been completed, the Council will investigate repair and strengthening options for the museum. A report with recommendations will then go to elected members for consideration.
For more information about the Facilities Rebuild Plan project, visit www.ccc.govt.nz/facilitiesrebuild