Robinson Block is one of a number of boarding facilities situated on Christchurch Girls' High School's (CGHS) Acland House Boarding facilities site. Closed since the February 2011 earthquake, having been assessed as being less than 34% NBS, the building has recently undergone extensive seismic strengthening work to bring it up to as close as practical to 100% NBS.
The post-earthquake closure of Robinson Block and several other key boarding and administrative facilities on the Acland site prompted the CGHS Board to take stock of its strategic, business, property and development options for the site. A key priority arising from the site master plan process led by Signal was the need to return the site to its pre-earthquake boarding capacity, while making provision for future expansion. Planning and consenting is currently underway for the refurbishment, reconfiguration and earthquake strengthening of the Grade 3 listed 'Old House' (refer separate case study) while Robinson Block was completed and operational for Term 1 2014.
The seismic strengthening work to Robinson Block included tying new ground perimeter beams to the existing strip footings, the provision of new internal block walls and tension anchor piles and shotcrete upgrades to existing wall structures. In addition to other required accessibility and fire safety compliance upgrades, the CGHS Board also took the opportunity to upgrade bathroom, building services and other cosmetic features.
Flexible programming and a comprehensive Site Safety Management Plan ensured minimal disruption to, and maximum protection for, the incumbent boarders who remained onsite throughout construction.