Stage one of museum development set to start

Construction of the $8.6 million first stage of the long-awaited Otago Settlers Museum redevelopment project will begin next month.

Graeme Hall, the Dunedin City Council general manager, community life, told the settlers museum board this week that Lund South Ltd was the preferred contractor and construction would soon be under way.

Mr Hall said in a later interview that the redevelopment first stage, which involved creating a specialised storage building, was a "critical" part of the overall project.

The storage facility is due to be completed in October next year.

The overall redevelopment is expected to cost about $34 million, with the fourth and final stage due for completion in 2012.

The storage building will provide climate-controlled protection of museum artefacts, some of which have been damaged by excessive heat and sunlight.

Other treasures have been attacked by borer or rust.

Cold conditions in the museum's bus storage area make it difficult for staff to use during the winter.

The existing museum complex will be refurbished during later stages of the project.

Octa Associates is undertaking project management work, with Baker Garden Architects and Hadley and Robinson Ltd, consulting civil and structural engineers, also involved.

Mr Hall said fund-raising remained a key part of the project, with $13.8 million sought through community fund-raising and more than $8 million already obtained, which included a $6 million government grant.


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