Not long until demolition

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Two old buildings in Kaitangata are awaiting final documentation to be completed before they will be demolished.

The 71-year-old Kaitangata Borough Council Chambers and the nearby 64-year-old Kaitangata War Memorial Hall were earmarked for demolition at the Clutha District Council annual plan meeting last month.

The council voted then to demolish both the asbestos-roofed hall and the neighbouring former borough building at a cost of at least $85,000.

The final decision came after the council had revealed in 2015 that the cost of earthquake strengthening of the hall could be up to $733,000.

Despite proposals from several interested parties in Kaitangata keen on re›purposing the hall as either a classic car museum or an accommodation venue, the council announced the demolition work would go ahead.

The Otago Daily Times reported that during the April round of annual plan hearings Kaitangata and District Promotions secretary Joyce Beck reminded the council of its earlier pledge to remove the hall, due to its failure to meet civic earthquake standards.

She said the group was concerned the building, which was now in a ‘‘derelict’’ state, should be used for memorial purposes only, or not at all.

Instead, the group wished to install a memorial garden on the site.

‘‘The site’s purpose is to honour our fallen soldiers,’’ she said. ‘‘It shouldn’t be used for anything else, we feel.’’

Demolition contractor Andrew Haulage managing director Colin Calteaux said the company was waiting on an asbestos report from WorkSafe and then demolition could start.

‘‘We have been very busy with the demolition of the Clyde St building two weekends ago,’’ Mr Calteaux said.

‘‘Now we are waiting to start on the two buildings in Kai before we move over to Milton and demolish buildings there to make way for the council’s new facility.’’

Mr Calteaux said it was good to see the council had looked after local contractors when awarding the demolition contracts.