Opinion: Museum Future

Jan 16, 2020
2734 Views

There is public concern that ICC is undertaking water blasting of the museum’s pyramid roof.
It needs to be cleaned, sealed and repainted as all future options involve the retention of the iconic pyramid roof.

As a recently elected City Councillor, I am frustrated about several issues regarding the museum closure and future:

That in 2013, the Opus report that indicated the museum is “probably” earthquake-prone also recommended getting a structural engineering and Quantity Surveyor report that identified the cost of strengthening the current building. My understanding is that, to date, that has not been done by SMAG nor ICC. I have a motion at the next ICC council meeting on the 28th of this month, to do just that.

My understanding from engineers and QS is that strengthening the current building should be a far cheaper and quicker option than the other 4 options being considered.

It has been two years since the museum closure. If it takes another 4-5 years to get funding and a new museum built, a whole generation of young people will be without a museum.

SMAG (Southland Museum and Art Gallery) had commissioned the Tim Walker report. Two areas of concerns are (i) that report was finished in June 2019 – yet it has not been made public (ii) that the report was not asked to consider strengthening as opposed to a new museum.

At this time of pressure on ICC to fund the City Block project, I believe a new museum can not be justified. Strengthening, refurbishment and getting it open within a year will be a fraction of the cost of a new museum. I believe that is what the public should demand.

Nobby Clark is an Invercargill City Council councillor

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