CHCH diocese earthquake repair assessment 75% completed

The process for developing concepts for repair / strengthening of churches in the diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, is approximately 75%  completed.

Since the earthquakes in in 2010 and 2011, the Diocese  has been working with engineering consultants OPUS in assessing and learning to understand the impact that the earthquakes have had on diocesan property.

Also during that time the Diocesan Strategy Committee have also been assisting in the formulation of an overall plan looking at the number and location of both churches and schools in the diocese.

To date there have been numerous meetings of parish priests and their advisors with Diocesan and OPUS personnel regarding the churches in their parish.

These will continue as more information is gathered about each individual church.

The broad approach being taken by the diocese is to get all its churches  assessed for repair / strengthening and from this assessment a concept plan is  prepared by OPUS Consulting Engineers.

A meeting is then held with the parish priest and his advisors to present and discuss Opus’ findings and concept plan.

Their approval to go to a detailed design is then sought.

Churches in the greater Christchurch area have had varying levels of engineering investigations with almost all having concept designs prepared for repair / strengthening.

All churches outside Christchurch are in the same process and are having engineering investigations.

The diocese settled the insurance negotiations in 2012. This produced a significant pool of money but not enough to restore / strengthen every church.

The amount available for each church will be affected by:

  • The amount of insurance generated from material damage caused directly by the earthquakes.
  • The cost of strengthening the church (primarily a parish expense).
  • The existing asset base of the parish.
  • The ability for a parish to repay the Catholic Development Fund for any loan that may be taken out

A decision on the Cathedral is an integral part of the process.

The Cathedral Management Board has requested a number of engineering and geotechnical reports which they are working through as well as other factors such as:

  • How many people will live in the central city?
  • What might Barbadoes Street look like in the future?
  • What else is being developed in the area?

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News category: New Zealand.

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