$5.5m rebuild of Knox church confirmed
A $5.5 million rebuild of the historic Knox Presbyterian Church in central Christchurch has been confirmed.
The 1902 church building, on the corner of Victoria St and Bealey Ave, was severely damaged in the February 2011 earthquake, which caused its century-old bricks to tumble and limestone to crack.
The building's timber skeleton had remained exposed to the public gaze and the elements for more than two years.
Knox Fundraising Committee chairwoman Liz Baxendine said the church had committed to rebuilding the heritage structure.
Knox Council clerk Janet Wilson would formally sign a contract for the $5.5m rebuild with David Freeman, of Higgs Construction Ltd, at 12.30pm today.
The project would be designed by Bruce Architects.
Baxendine said new lightweight cladding would be added to the old timber structure which ''so sturdily defied the violent quakes''.
The ''modern interpretation'' of the 111-year-old building was expected to be completed by the end of next year, leaving the distinctive peaked roof life and striking interior timbers in place, but without including any bricks.
Baxendine said the rebuild was designed to meet 100 per cent of the building code.
''Set on a thick raft foundation with walls that will flex in a big quake, the renewed Knox Church could easily last for another 100 years,'' she said.
The new 400-seat church would be available for community use, including weddings, concerts, lectures and funerals, and would have improved insulation, acoustics and accessibility.
Baxendine said the church's 1910 pipe organ survived the earthquakes with only minor damage and would be repaired, upgraded and reinstated in the new structure.
Funding for the multimillion-dollar project was yet to be confirmed, but would include insurance, grants and support from the Knox Trust.
Another $2m was being sought through trust applications and donations, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
How do you feel about the city's first anchor project, the Avon River Precinct?Related story: Vision of city by the water