Removal of bays to start

Workers will move in next week to begin demolishing part of Dunedin's former art gallery at Logan Park, Dunedin City Council staff have confirmed.

The work would see three bays removed from the southern end of the old gallery building by the end of the month, creating space to expand the University Oval cricket ground, council parks and reserves team leader Martin Thompson said.

The ground needed to be expanded to stage tests against major cricketing nations.

The decision to demolish part of the former art gallery - which has a category 1 heritage rating and is protected in the city's district plan - was announced in March, and a resource consent issued last month.

That came after council staff reached a compromise with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the trust agreeing to support the council's consent application if the council placed a binding covenant on the former gallery's title, protecting the remainder of the building.

Yesterday, Mr Thompson said sections of roof, two end trusses and two bays - including foundations - would be removed by mid-September, allowing work to extend the cricket ground's outfield to begin.

The last of the three bays would be removed by the end of the month, once a temporary exterior wall was erected, he said.

The demolition would cost $230,000, while the overall expansion of the cricket venue would cost $5 million.

Mr Thompson said further design work would be carried out within 18 months of the completion of demolition work, to determine the final finish and appearance of the southern end of the building.

The former art gallery was built for the 1925 New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition.

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