Arrowtown’s Athenaeum Hall will close for two months over winter for strengthening and an upgrade that will provide improved facilities and return the building to its full capacity.
QLDC had already scheduled essential earthquake strengthening and is taking the opportunity to carry out other work at the same time, to reduce the length of time that the hall will be out of action and avoid having to remove wall linings and fixtures twice.
The major improvements include upgrading the toilet facilities, installing a new heating plant, PA system and ablutions.
Some of the extra work has triggered the need for additional pre-construction reports and consultation with heritage groups, which has delayed the start of the renovations and strengthening, that were originally scheduled to be done in May.
The hall was built in 1870 and had significant alterations carried out in 1991. Its normal capacity of 500 people was temporarily reduced to 300 in February 2015 after a seismic assessment. The earthquake strengthening will enable the hall to accommodate up to 500 people once again.
The work is now expected to begin in early July and is likely to be completed in late August.
QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen said that the Council apologised for the inconvenience that the change in dates caused users, but said the outcome would be an improved facility for the community.
(QLDC Media Release)