Quake-prone opera house building closed

Last updated 11:30 21/03/2014

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Hastings District Council has this morning has closed the Hawke's Bay Opera House Municipal Building after it was found to be earthquake-prone like the Opera House theatre, which was closed earlier this month.

The council said the Municipal Building, alongside the theatre, was closed this morning based on ''indicative engineering advice received last night''. 

Mayor Lawrence Yule said closing the building was ''a prudent approach'' and ''will give council staff the opportunity to work through the full implications of the report and how we can progress from here''.

Opera House chief executive Christine Spring said the closure would impact events.

''We are working through this with affected hirers to achieve the best practical outcome. Opera House staff have been informed of the closure this morning and they will continue to be employed while we await further peer review work on the engineering reports," she said.

Tomorrow night's performance of Bill Haley Jr and The Comets has been relocated to the Lowe Family Performing Arts Centre at Lindisfarne College, Hastings. 

Ticketek are currently contacting all ticket holders for this event, however current tickets will be honoured at the Performing Arts Centre. Any queries or requests for refunds should be directed to Ticketek on 0800 4TICKETS.

The Opera Kitchen, Ticketek, Dish and HB Winegrowers are unaffected at this time.

Hutchinsons Furnishers, which is a tenant of the municipal building, has indicated it will continue to operate from its current location.

The prliminary reports on both buildings will be peer reviewed. That is likely to have been completed by mid to late May. 

Council has budgeted funds in the 2014-15 year to undertake design work to enable structural deficiencies to be addressed.

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- The Dominion Post

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