End draws closer for Hamilton East's Euphrasie House
A shell of the Spanish-mission-style convent and hostel in Hamilton East remains, waiting for the machinery to be brought in.
Contractors started stripping the inside of Euphrasie House in March, projector manager Graham Roil said.
From early April machinery will start to move on site, with demolition expected to begin later that month, he said.
It should take six to eight weeks to complete.
Impending demolition has been hanging over Euphrasie House since a 2014 Environment Court decision with the Catholic Diocese saying it is not suitable for modern use.
Uncertainty around when demolition would start has been circling for months.
Jane Landman, who has been a player in other fights for Hamilton East heritage, was lost for words when she heard contractors had started stripping the site.
"I think the whole thing is an act of vandalism, it's heritage vandalism.
"I'm just speechless. We destroy all our heritage buildings in this town. It's shameful."
Landman was part of the group fighting to save the building for "several years".
No final farewell has been planned, a funeral would be better suited, she said.
"I don't think sad covers it for me, it's scandalous. It's incredible. Sad just doesn't cover it for me. Some people think it's just an old building, but if you've been in that building it's stunning. It could've been re-purposed. We've lost so much already through wars and natural disasters without going round and deliberately doing it. "
Dr Ann McEwan, architectural and heritage consultant, said it will be a shock to many when the building does come down.
"The day was bound to happen.
"The hope was, just because you've got a resource consent, it doesn't mean you have to do whatever it is you said you'd do. The fact is with whatever historic building, until the bulldozers come in to the site, then you're always hopeful that there might be some other outcome.
"I think it will surprise a lot of people when th building comes down."
Euphraise House was built as a convent to house nuns who taught at the schools that were part of the overall church precinct.
Euphrasie House was built in 1939.
Consent for its demolition, supported by the Hamilton City Council, was granted in April 2013.