Briar Herb site pick for new museum

A new museum for Clyde centred around parts of the historic Briar Herb Factory Museum has emerged as the favourite from options presented to Clyde residents.

However, some Vincent Community Board members have already raised concerns over a possible $4.7 million price tag for the development.

Building a new museum in the Briar Herb location, near the Clyde Railway Station, was the "overwhelming preference'' of residents following extensive public consultation including surveys and workshops, Vincent and Teviot Valley property and facility officer Christina Martin told board members at their meeting last week.

Six options had been researched by Origin Consultants, including redeveloping the Blyth St museum; or keeping the status quo, which would result in some of the Clyde museum buildings, including the Briar Herb complex, remaining closed because of earthquake concerns.

The possible high cost of the project was acknowledged by consultants, Ms Martin and board members at the board's meeting.

It was, therefore, vital a robust design brief was developed, and this would help manage risk for the project, Ms Martin said.

The Origin report said the $4.7million estimate was based on percentages provided by the New Zealand Institute of Architects Inc Guide to Architect's Charges.

The report said all development options would require a "significant capital investment'', but "current support for such a project from major external funders is positive''.

Redeveloping the Briar Herb complex would result in the more modern parts of the complex being demolished (some of the parts that look old are in fact 1980s add-ons) and the historic parts of the complex maintained and repaired.

The old railway goods shed, at present beside the Briar Herb complex, could then be relocated to beside the nearby railway station building, and a purpose-built museum/community facility built within the Briar Herb site.

The Blyth St museum would be closed, and the police lock-up at the Blyth St building relocated, possibly within the new Briar Herb complex.

The combined collections of the Clyde museums would be consolidated and some relocated or stored, and a district-wide study on museums done.

A tentative timeline suggested a concept design brief could be developed this year, detailed design and cost estimates done next year, and funding approved and construction done in 2021-22.

However, some initial stages of the project could be done earlier, such as demolishing the more modern parts of the Briar Herb complex, moving the goods shed and relocating the police lock-up, the Origin report said.

Board members approved $94,000 of spending to develop concept plans for the next stage. The money will come from the Earnscleugh-Manuherikia Reserves and Development Account.


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