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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Earthquake damaged Christchurch maternity hospital set for demolition

Earthquake damaged Christchurch maternity hospital set for demolition

Last updated 14:45 09/03/2011
The historic maternity building at privately-run St George's Hospital will probably be demolished, Health Minister Tony Ryall was told today.

The 80-year-old building had been ruled unsafe by initial engineer inspections, said chief executive Tony Hunter.

Other parts of the hospital had lost sheet glass windows and hallways in the newly built surgical wards had dropped 150mm.

Plaster cracking in the hallways had been taped up with white surgical tape.

The older building housed 17 maternity beds and four birthing suites.

Hunter said the building was uninhabitable.

"I think it is history. I believe the foundation has split and cracked in places that will make it virtually impossible to repair to today's standards.

"They're searching around for alternative sites for a maternity service as we speak," said Hunter.

Ryall took a tour of the hospital this afternoon, viewing the damaged areas.

"Clearly this building is somewhat iconic to people in this area and they will be sorry to lose it. But obviously, safety is the top priority."

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