Botanic Gardens tea kiosk closed

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 14:23 16/05/2012
botanic gardens cafe
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

CONCERNS: The building that houses the Botanic Gardens Cafe has been closed today because it needs to be earthquake strengthened.

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The Christchurch Botanic Gardens tea kiosk has been closed after an engineering evaluation showed the building was in need of earthquake strengthening.

The city council said this afternoon it had closed the building, which houses the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Cafe, after receiving the results of a detailed engineering evaluation.

The evaluation showed the building was below 34 per cent of the new building standard and was therefore quake-prone.

Councillors have agreed to close all council-owned buildings that are below 34 per cent of the building standard.

Engineers visually assessed the inside and outside of a building after each of the major quakes. These assessed the building as fit to occupy.

Council spokesman Michael Aitken said that although the building was deemed fit to occupy then, the evaluation had allowed engineers to gain a much better appreciation of the structural issues within the building, which led to it being assessed as a quake-prone building.

"We know that the cafe is a popular spot for visitors to the gardens and that it will be greatly missed,'' he said.

''Although closing the building is a cautious approach, it is necessary to ensure the safety of the public and the tenant occupying it in the event of future earthquakes or aftershocks."

Aitken said because of the number of council-owned buildings being assessed, it was "unclear" when a decision would be made on strengthening the tea kiosk.

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