Anglicans reject cathedral report
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
A report claiming Christ Church Cathedral can be safely restored has been rejected by church officials.
The Great Christchurch Building Trust, headed by former Wigram MP Jim Anderton and former National MP Philip Burdon, last month released a report that said ''maximum retention'' was feasible and could be achieved without any safety risks.
Structural engineers Adam Thornton, Robert Davey and Stefano Pampanin were commissioned to provide an independent review after Anglican Church officials decided the cathedral should be demolished to two or three metres high.
A metal ''safe haven'' would be constructed inside the earthquake-hit cathedral to allow bracing and strengthening work.
However, a $12,000 review released today by the Cathedral Project Group found the trust's plan was not a safer option and was likely to cost $15 million more to strengthen than to deconstruct and rebuild.
The report found:
- The trust's report did not present any new structural engineering options that had not already been considered by the diocese and amplified work by Holmes Consulting.
- Strengthening would never achieve the same level of functional performance as a rebuilt cathedral.
- It would be safer to dismantle the cathedral than to strengthen using safe havens.
- The trust's proposed methodology could not practically achieve full protection of workers. Holmes found it was impossible to avoid workers being exposed outside the safe havens.
- The shoring methodology proposed could achieve a high degree of protection of the remaining building during restoration, but at considerable expense.
- Quantity surveyors Davis Langdon found the minimum cost proposed by the report would be more than $100 million if the project was implemented over a seven-year period.
- A long-term restoration project could turn Cathedral Square into a construction site for many years.
Bishop Victoria Matthews said the project group had repeatedly said it did not not want to build a replica, but rather a ''mix of old and new''.
The new cathedral cost would be ''substantially less'' than $100m.
"This approach is also more realistic in the current financial climate. We are currently testing design budgets and as soon as we know how much we can spend to build an inspirational building that gives glory to God, we will be releasing that figure,'' she said.
Matthews hoped the trust would ''continue to have input and support this long-term project''.
Anderton said he was disappointed, but was not giving up the battle.
The trust will meet on Monday to discuss the findings.
''Clearly, there's quite a difference the two view points. I don't think it's anything unresolvable,'' Anderton said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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