Home' The Wellingtonian : March 29th 2012 Contents MARCH 29, 2012
and diamonds 12
Oriental Bay band rotunda gets reprieve
By JULIA HOLLINGSWORTH
Groups using the Oriental Bay
band rotunda are relieved it will
stay open until Wellington City
Council decides its future.
The council this month con-
sidered a proposal that the com-
munity centre housed by the
rotunda be closed because it was
poorly configured and under-
However, it has postponed a
decision until the building has
Deputy mayor Ian McKinnon
said last week that delaying the
decision would allow the com-
munity and the Oriental Bay
Residents Association time to
reflect on a symbol of that end of
the beach .
The rotunda meets less than 33
per cent of the new minimum
building standard requirement.
Oriental Bay Residents Associ-
ation president Colin Blair said he
was glad there would be more
time to consider the rotunda s
future. Because the centre was
regularly used an average of only
five hours a week, the community
would need to look at getting more
use to justify retaining it, he said.
He said it was the council s res-
ponsibility to make the facilities
known to the public.
Sharon Greally, who teaches art
classes for 7-11-year-olds at the
rotunda, was not aware of the
council s resolution, or the rotun-
da s building code rating. She said
she would probably keep using the
rotunda, though she was con-
cerned about the children s safety.
Feldenkrais teacher Sue Field
had discussed with her class leav-
ing the building owing to its
earthquake risk. We re quite
happy here. We re not going to
stress, she said.
Mr McKinnon said that the
council could have done more to
publicise the rotunda s facilities,
but had not done so owing to the
building s leaks.
He said the strengthening
would take place within the next
five years, given the high-priority
nature of the building. The
rotunda was still safe, he said.
Wellington City Council media
adviser Grahame Armstrong said
if the community room shut, the
council would find users a suitable
Councillors would have a better
idea of the earthquake strength-
ening schedule when the Long
Term Plan was finalised in June.
By REBECCA THOMSON
Top spot: Firefighters Nick Down, left, and Dylan Sciascia are pleased Wellington Central Fire Station will be staying put.
Photo: REBECCA THOMSON
Fire station to stay
The New Zealand Fire Service
is to spend a least $1 million to
seismically strengthen the cen-
tral Wellington station.
Last November the 73-year-
old Oriental Bay building was
deemed an earthquake risk by
Wellington City Council.
Owing to its post-disaster
function, the building was given
a high priority rating, requiring
the owners to strengthen it by
Area commander Peter
Dempsey said the fire service
considered moving the station,
but decided to upgrade it after
engineers found the land
beneath it to be stable.
We re looking at spending
quite a lot of money, so you
have to look at what options are
available, Mr Dempsey said.
There are advantages and
disadvantage to building a new
station. This one [in Oriental
Bay] is in a very good place and
the guys love it as a station
because of all the history.
With moving into another
place in the CBD, there would
be the challenge of finding the
land and getting resource consent.
Mr Dempsey said strengthening
work was estimated to cost $1m and
would begin later this year.
We would like it done as soon
as possible, but done to the
One of the problems is that
engineers found the building
was too rigid. They need to
break it into three chunks to
make it flex in an earthquake.
policy, the station meets 30 per
cent of the building code.
Pre-1976 buildings are required
to meet 33 per cent of the minimum
standard for a new building. The sta-
tion was build in 1939.
The station is always manned by at
least eight fire fighters and houses two
fire engines and a command unit.
Mr Dempsey said crews and
appliances would be placed at other
fire stations while the work was being
Temporary offices would also need
to be found for the Fire Service
National Training Centre and area
management, he said.
Designed by C H Mitchell, the
fire station is listed as a category 2
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