School rebuild reveals historic features

Surprises have been in store for the team working on the upgrade of the iconic Takapuna Grammar School main block in Auckland – some good, some bad.

The landmark heritage building dates back to 1926 and was later extended in 1935 and again in 1965. A timber-framed hall was built in 1939.

The $26 million redevelopment is to convert the main block to an innovative learning environment, and structurally strengthen the hall.

An architect’s image of Takapuna Grammar School’s main block. IMAGE: Prendos NZ Ltd.
An architect’s image of Takapuna Grammar School’s main block. IMAGE: Prendos NZ Ltd.

Only minor structural works were initially envisaged but it soon became clear that more seismic strengthening work was needed, and this has now been carried out as part of the project.

Recently a charming archway with plaster detailing has been discovered hidden behind a timber-framed plasterboard lined wall. The archway is being restored and will add character to the school’s main hall.

The striking exterior of the historic building will be retained, so that once the project is complete the school will look the same from the street, but much of the interior will be new, with extensive steel reinforcing throughout.

The contract works began in April last year and strengthening work is well advanced in two thirds of the building.

The forecast completion date is October 2018.

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