The Oamaru courthouse. Photo by ODT.
The true cost of earthquake-strengthening the Oamaru
courthouse will not be known for at least another eight weeks,
after the Ministry of Justice commissioned further
investigations to building options.
The courthouse was deemed an earthquake risk last November.
Since March, district court cases in Oamaru have been heard
in the town's opera house.
Agreement on how much it will cost to strengthen the historic
building has still to be reached.
A spokesman for the ministry yesterday said a more detailed
assessment of building costs would start soon.
"Opus International has been commissioned to conduct further
work to determine strengthening options and costs for the
Oamaru courthouse," he said.
"It is a complicated job that will require extensive
collaboration with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust
given the heritage one status of the building. It is likely
that taking geotechnical and core samples and analysing them
will take at least eight weeks and work on a detailed cost
estimate cannot begin until that is done."
Last month, estimates from the Ministry of Justice put the
strengthening cost at $5 million, but the ministry agreed to
look again at the estimate after Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton
suggested the job could be done for a 10th of that price.