Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment moves to next phase with roof work
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Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment moves to next phase with roof work

Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment moves to next phase with roof work

Frames for the tent started going up on Thursday morning. Photo Bevan Conley

A construction tent is being erected over the Sarjeant Gallery for the next phase of its redevelopment.

Tents are commonly used so contractors can have all-weather access to the site to complete sensitive components of the project.

They allow for tighter quality controls to be used around the project in terms of protection of existing structure while also enabling the contractors to have more consistent time to work while being protected from the elements.

Project director of the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project, Gaye Batty, said the work on the roof of the gallery involved earthquake strengthening.

“At roof level, a milestone was achieved in September 2021 when core drilling was completed and the vertical steel bars inserted to stiffen the 100-year-old brick-cavity walls as part of the post-tension strand methodology,” Batty said.

“The tent is needed to prevent water ingress during construction of a concrete diaphragm that will encircle and span the roof to support the old walls and the vertical elements.”

Sarjeant Gallery relationships officer, Jaki Arthur, said people would be able to see the tent from Victoria Avenue.

The tent is being put in place to allow the Sarjeant’s roof to be earthquake strengthened. Photo Bevan Conley

“So much of what’s happened to date has been hidden inside the old gallery and also at the rear where the new wing is being built, so it’s exciting to see the redevelopment progress in such evidence,” Arthur said.

“The public can see through the gates by the Davis Library that the new wing at the rear of the gallery is very much in evidence, with the collection store area laid and covered.

“The new wing, named in honour of Sir Archie Taiaroa, will house galleries, event spaces, the education facility, a retail space, café and offices.”

Redevelopment of the Sarjeant is the largest arts development in the lower North Island since the construction of Te Papa in 1998.

Mike Tweed is a multimedia journalist at the Whanganui Chronicle

This article first appeared in the Whanganui Chronicle and NZ Herald online on November 18, 2021