Strengthening works required for Civic, He Waka Tuia

Seismic strengthening works are set to commence at two Invercargill City Council premises after updated assessments revealed room for improvement, but it should not disrupt business as usual.

As part of a thorough assessment of Council facilities, in line with updated building standards introduced in 2017, the Civic Theatre and He Waka Tuia Art + Museum at Community House in Invercargill will be labelled as earthquake-prone for a short period while work to upgrade some areas of the buildings is undertaken.

Council Group Manager Leisure and Recreation Steve Gibling said the assessments showed the continued occupancy of both buildings was appropriate.

“We know these are two important spaces to our community and we are confident the work to bring our buildings up to standard will happen quickly,” Mr Gibling said.

“Both the Civic Theatre and He Waka Tuia will continue to operate during this time, and there will be minimal impact on exhibitions and shows as the works are completed.”

Council Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said Council had completed design works for the strengthening required at the Civic Theatre and was submitting the building consent documents.

“Work should be completed relatively quickly.”

Council was working with the landlord of the Don St premises of He Waka Tuia, who is in the process of submitting design and consenting documents for the work required, Ms Moogan said.

“In 2017 standards changed so we have been in the process of updating Council’s seismic assessments across all of its buildings and included the He Waka Tuia lease to ensure that all our facilities were compliant with the latest standards with regard to seismic assessment,” she said.

The seismic assessment carried out on the Civic Theatre building found that there was one minor element requiring strengthening – small gables to the south-east and south-west of the auditorium building.

“Work is required to tie the gable ends into the roof structure. The work is minor and should take about three days to complete. The building will then be well above the limit at which it is deemed earthquake-prone,” Ms Moogan said.

“The elements of the He Waka Tuia building that place the building in the earthquake-prone building classification are a lack of connection between walls and the roof.

“Strengthening work will involve installation of plywood sarking to external roof elements and installation of fixings to roofing components and wall structures.”

He Waka Tuia is accepting entries to its annual Spring Exhibition, while the Civic Theatre is looking forward to a full programme throughout the rest of the year.