$15m Arts Centre restoration project

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2013
Arts Centre Boys' High building
Dean Kozanic

GRAND ENTRANCE: The Gothic Revival style building was built in 1881.

Arts Centre Boys' High building
John Kirk-Anderson
RESTORATION WORK: The Boys' High building is at the rear.

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A $15 million restoration of one of Christchurch's key Arts Centre buildings is under way.

Christchurch construction company C Lund & Son has been contracted to carry out the restoration of the old Boys' High building - a project that will take about two years.

Arts Centre chief executive Andre Lovatt said the trust was "progressing on a number of the most significant heritage buildings" within the quake-damaged complex, with the registry building already complete.

"And by mid-2015 [we] will be completing several major projects, including the iconic college hall and clock tower.

"While there is still a long journey ahead, we are extremely pleased that the programme is now well under way."

The Gothic Revival style building was constructed in 1881 and was home to Christchurch Boys' High School until 1926.

Before the earthquakes, the building housed several retail tenants.

Lovatt said a range of uses for the restored building was being considered.

"Ultimately, the Boys' High building will form a major part of the newly restored Arts Centre's role as a centre for education, innovation and creative industry," he said.

The Arts Centre suffered extensive damage in the Canterbury earthquakes and 22 of the 23 buildings are closed.

The trust is carrying out a seven-year restoration programme at a cost of $290 million, of which $165m will come from insurance proceeds.

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- The Press

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