The Rebuild of Main Block Begins
Sir Miles Warren's famous WM–shaped roof over our dining hall is being carefully de-constructed. This is the first stage in the rebuild of Main Block this year.
Principal (BM), Laraine Sharr says, "Having recently settled our insurance claim, we've started on the demolition and rebuild of the southern part of our Main Block that will take it to 100% of the current building standard. With the insurance proceeds covering only some of the rebuild costs, we're embarking on a fundraising campaign to help make up the shortfall.
"Since the 2011 earthquakes, our dining hall, kitchen and eight student bedrooms have been yellow-stickered, as has our beautiful chapel. For the past three years the dining hall has been temporarily relocated to the recreation room, the kitchen has operated out of a large marquee in the quad and eight study bedrooms have been unoccupied.
"Over the holidays Sir Miles' WM-shaped roof is being taken apart piece-by-piece and it will be reinstated over the rebuilt dining hall later this year. When the new Main Block is completed we'll have a larger dining hall and there will be a modern commercial kitchen – the old one dated from 1966. We're also adding another seven study bedrooms and some bathrooms to have a total of 15 students living in Main Block. The rebuild will be completed in time for the 2015 academic year," says BM.
Our new Main Block is designed by Christchurch architect Alec Bruce from Wilkie + Bruce. Alec knows us well having worked on a number of our buildings over the years. He's retained the major elements of Warren and Mahoney's original design, and our rebuilt Waimairi Road frontage will look very much the same as it is now. Warren and Mahoney won the New Zealand Institute of Architects' (NZIA) Gold Medal in 1969 for their work on College House and then won the NZIA Enduring Award in 1999.
"With the demolition taking place over the holidays, when our students return for Term 2 much of the major disruption will be over. It will be, however, a somewhat messy eight months during the rebuild. But we are all very much looking forward to 2015 and having the dining hall back in action, the recreation room can reclaim its space below the library, the kitchen staff are all very keen to be out of the marquee in the quad, and we will welcome 15 additional students into College House," says BM.