Storage facility build completed

Construction of the first strand of the Invercargill City Council’s Project 1225 — to build three key cultural facilities in the city — is officially complete, right on schedule.

Project 1225 involves the construction of a new museum, a specialist tuatara enclosure and a museum collection storage facility in Invercargill.

The build of the first of the three projects, the Tisbury storage facility, has officially been completed.

Invercargill City councillor Grant Dermody, the lead councillor on Project 1225, said the completion of the Tisbury storage facility was a significant milestone.

"We know how much Project 1225 means to our community, and we are pleased to have ticked off one hugely important milestone," he said.

"The Tisbury storage facility is a crucial part of Project 1225. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery collection numbers more than four million items, and while Invercargill’s new museum is set to have a larger footprint than the former Southland Museum and Art Gallery, there is simply no feasible way to have each of these on public display all of the time.

"There is obviously still a lot of work ahead of us, but it is exciting to see Project 1225 continuing to progress. We look forward to reaching more milestones as we move through the project, and deliver important cultural facilities for our community," Cr Dermody said.

Council infrastructure group manager Erin Moogan said she was delighted the project had been delivered on time.

The 1650sq m facility includes state-of-the-art shelving, temperature and humidity-controlled storage areas, office space and workrooms, and Southland’s first-ever regional conservation lab. Construction began in December last year.

Items from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery will begin to be transferred to the new storage facility, after a private tapu-lifting ceremony led by rūnanga.

The process of transferring collection items from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery is expected to be completed by the end of March next year.

The new specialist tuatara facility is scheduled to be completed in April next year.

The base build of the new museum, Te Unua Museum of Southland, is scheduled to be completed by December 2025. Following that, the experience build will begin, with Te Unua Museum of Southland set to officially open to the public in late 2026.