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Christ Church Cathedral site ready for restoration

Thursday, April 16, 2020   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: earthquake, recovery, rebuild, built environment, heritage

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 16th April 2020

Plans are under way to ensure that restoration work on Christ Church Cathedral can start as soon as possible after the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Project staff are focusing on detailed engineering for stabilisation structures, approvals and construction planning during the building industry shutdown.

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited project director Keith Paterson says while it is disappointing that physical work cannot get under way, these work-stream adaptations will help ensure a quick on-site start when allowed.

“We’re responding to the challenge with a slight refocus, bringing forward work streams like detailed engineering for stabilisation structures, the approvals programme, and detailed construction planning,” Mr Paterson says.

"We're fortunate the project team has been able to keep working remotely by staying in touch virtually."

He says once the on-site work can begin, workers will establish a construction site and then focus on stabilisation work. “The stabilisation phase is complex,” Mr Paterson says.

“We are working on the south transept and at the front of the Cathedral to begin with and this will give us the safest and fastest access for workers. Once stablised we will be able to retrieve heritage items and gather additional information on the condition of the building.

“People will see bracing and steel framing being erected and the methodical deconstruction of some sections, with materials being catalogued and stored for later use. The 1960s vestries and 1990s visitor centre will be removed to give safer and faster access to stabilise the older sections of the cathedral.”

The stabilisation phase will take up to two years to complete and cost $11.8 million.

Meanwhile, the Dean of Christchurch Lawrence Kimberley, says a dawn blessing service – initially planned for 3rd April – will be rescheduled.

“Rest assured, we will reschedule this when it’s safe and appropriate to do so,” he says.