End signalled for Te Kowhai House

'Potentially earthquake-prone'

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 30/06/2012
Kowhai House
NATASHA MARTIN/Fairfax NZ

TO GO: Kowhai House, which South Canterbury District Health Board has decided will be demolished as it's potentially earthquake-prone.

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Timaru's Kowhai House is to be demolished after earthquake strengthening was deemed too costly.

The "potentially earthquake-prone" building, owned by the South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB), was decommissioned in December after an engineer's report.

Engineers found it only met 15 per cent of the required standard. SCDHB chief executive Chris Fleming said yesterday it would cost $350,000 to bring it to 50 per cent, or $600,000 to get it to 74 per cent.

There is no historic places rating on the building.

The board approved a recommendation at yesterday's meeting to have the building demolished. It also approved additional work on the Kensington building, to make it more suitable for the Child and Youth Mental Health Service, which was previously based at Kowhai House. It has yet to be decided what the Kowhai House site will be used for in the future.

The Timaru Hospital laundry, supply building and administration building have had strengthening work done. Similar work has yet to be carried out on the hospital's administration block and gardens block – the old nurses' home.

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- The Timaru Herald

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