College – Issue 31

HERITAGE Restoring and rebuilding while preserving the heritage

Parents and passers-by may be wondering what is happening behind the barriers on the Rolleston Avenue side of College. All the stone has been removed and windows taken out and there is plenty of hammering and dust clouds flying.

The old Tower Building, which encompasses an area beside the Dining Hall running through to the side of Julius House, is being completely repaired and restored after earthquake damage. The kitchen which was fully functional after the earthquakes, has been removed and all food preparation is now being done in temporary buildings on a site on Gloucester Street. The Dining Hall has had sprinklers installed in the ceiling and the boarders continue to have their meals there, with the food being ferried in a van. Bursar Colin Sweetman says it was decided to totally redesign the kitchen area as it had had a “very functional’’ wooden addition put in during the 1990s which was totally out of keeping with the heritage nature of the street frontage which stretches from the Museum to the Administration Block. The original kitchen was a u-shape with big vents outletting through the glass roof. Additions in the 1990s put stainless steel vents up the side of the buildings and closed in the roof. “Heritage issues were not as much of a consideration at that time and there was more emphasis on utilitarianism,’’ says Mr Sweetman. ‘’This seemed to work well at the time but now we are committed to ensuring that we restore the heritage

nature of the whole area as we repair the earthquake damage to the residential flats and the former hospital.” The board decided to do more than just repair the kitchen and it was completely redesigned to suit the caterers. This will make better use of the space, improve flow and be a chance to update equipment and to provide a better dining experience for the boys. It also will provide ablution facilities for visitors and improved facilities for kitchen staff, including an office and a tearoom. “We are filling in gaps to gain a new top floor and give us a lot more space,’’ Mr Sweetman says. “Repairs to the Category 2 building will be around $8 million which includes earthquake strengthening and sprinklers throughout the whole area.’’ To ensure the heritage aspect is retained, stones have been removed and will be reused, the existing steel window frames have been removed and are being sandblasted and repaired. All doorknobs, interior doors and fittings have been retained and everything of heritage value has been photographed, recorded and will be put back. “This is the process we have used for restoration of our heritage buildings such as the Hare Memorial Library

building for which we have won a number of awards,” he says.

John Thompson, Director of One Four Limited, says one of the important things that ensured so many of College’s heritage buildings havebeenable tobe savedwas previous earthquake strengthening undertaken on the advice of Sir Miles Warren. “College was really proactive in this,’’ he says. “It is amazing that the Dining Hall, which is three storeys high and 90 years old, was still standing after a


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