St John buildings not up to standard

Fourteen more buildings have been added to the Palmerston North City Council's list of earthquake-prone buildings, bringing the tally to 160.

Council customer services manager Peter Eathorne said staff were into the fourth year of what was likely to be a six- or seven-year project looking at about 500 buildings.

The buildings previously identified as high risk had been given priority and had been assessed.

The latest additions include some central properties, and many smaller buildings, some of which the owners had assessed themselves.

St John has identified two properties, one in Willis St and one in Cuba St, that do not measure up.

The Willis St building is a four-bay garage used for events and storage. It would be demolished to make way for a new ambulance station, said head of communications Robyn Bern.

The Cuba St building is the Palmerston North area office, used for ambulance deployment and training. Assessed as meeting less than 20 per cent of the new building code, it will be further evaluated by engineers.

The Milson Combined Church building on Milson Line has been included, but minister Sylvia Purdie said the issues were minor. The main hall near the Milson shopping centre was fine, with the shortcomings only in the connected former farm homestead that was used for lounges. "Even though it is single storey and wooden, it does not meet the building code, mainly because of the gib board on the walls."

Two more buildings on The Square have been included. They are the Goldsack building leading through to the Verdict Cafe backing on to Maple Lane, and the Cantlon building on the corner of Church St and Fitzherbert Ave. Both scored the lowest possible E rating - meeting less than 20 per cent of the new building code and 25 times more likely than a new building to collapse in an earthquake.

The Ballentynes building in Broadway Ave, Animates on Church St and the Churchyard behind St Andrew's Church on the corner of Church St and Ashley St also rated E.

The other buildings are Manawatu Motorcycles on Andrew Young St, and Central Rentals and Princeway Panel Beaters on Princess St.

None of the buildings added to the list had heritage status.

Manawatu Standard