Heritage building gets fresh look

AMELIA REYNOLDS
Last updated 11:54 17/07/2014
blue lines on Bridge St
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

UP IT GOES: Advanced Access Solutions put scaffolding up on the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology B Block building.

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The founding building of a Nelson tertiary institution is getting a makeover.

Renovations started this week on Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology's B block building at 333 Hardy St.

It was the founding building of the Nelson Technical School which later merged into NMIT.

It was designed by Nelson Education Board secretary and architect Stead Ellis and officially opened on September 18 1905.

The building was listed as a Group-A heritage building, the highest rating given to heritage buildings, by the Nelson City Council under the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

NMIT acting chief executive Martin Venner said the students of applied fitness, now based in the J block building next door, will move into the renovated building. It would have a new gym and upgraded specialist training facilities for the students.

He said the decision to renovate was about improving student facilities and paying tribute to the history of the building.

It was good NMIT was finally "getting round to looking after the building that started it all", he said.

"Hopefully the Nelson community can contribute to enjoying the building for the next 100 years."

The renovation of the building would not include any structural changes and would mainly involve removing rotten timbers and general refurbishment.

The building would be painted in traditional heritage colours of cream and red, he said.

Heritage New Zealand central region general manager Ann Neil said she was not aware of NMIT's renovation plans for the building. In principle she supported the repairs being carried out if it meant the building remained a viable part of the community for "many years to come".

The renovation is expected to take 10 weeks and cost $200,000.

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- The Nelson Mail

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