St Andrew’s College
1When the February 2011 earthquake struck Christchurch, construction on the 3,153 square metre St. Andrew’s College Preparatory School was almost completed in readiness for the new school term. As the only building on the site founded on deep piles, it avoided most of the liquefaction problems many of the other structures faced. However, the land around the Preparatory School and other buildings had subsided in the earthquakes.
2With the frequent aftershocks following the main quake, the subsidence reached up to 300 mm – a large distance in structural engineering terms. Over time, the thresholds of the doorways and walkways were changed to accommodate the new ground levels. At the same time, several of the dormitories on campus were damaged so majorly that they have been closed and demolished. This left the school with a housing problem for the student population for the remainder of the school year.
3Holmes Consulting Group started the project in August, and the Preparatory school was designed, consented and built within six months. To the delight of the school and parents (and perhaps the disappointment of the students!) the children were able to move in for the February 2012 term. Rutherford House was saved and uses a mix of seismic strengthening technologies including K braces and fibre-reinforced polymer. The work saved a building that is an important and much-loved part of the St. Andrew’s history.
4Over time, the thresholds of the doorways and walkways were changed to accommodate the new ground levels, and the landscaping utilises the new topography. Our work with St. Andrew’s College continues with the design of a new boarding facility that will see more of the students housed back on campus and out of local boarding facilities including local motels. The work has gone ahead in difficult circumstances, and we’ve been proud to help ensure this historic school keeps moving forward.