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Botched earthquake repairs are just the “tip of the quakeberg” and ignoring major foundation damage could prove catastrophic for Christchurch and taxpayers, a leading academic says.
Dr Michael Naylor, a senior lecturer in finance and insurance at Massey University, said the poor repairs to most Christchurch homes with rubble-style foundations left them unsupported in future land movement.
Naylor said recent comments by Earthquake Commission (EQC) Minister Megan Woods indicated her advisers had under-estimated the problem of inadequate repairs. He called on her to “demand” analysis of the “real and looming” issue, which he said could cost billions of dollars if not addressed.
“This threatens to be as large as the leaky homes crisis, which has cost at least $6 billion. Treasury should be costing billions into its budgets for future liabilities”.
Repairs to the 19th-century South Egremont School are expected to wrap up ahead of schedule.
Select Board Chairman Bruce Turner said he anticipates the project, to repair the two-room schoolhouse's foundation, will be completed by the end of July. Original estimates had construction being finalized in mid- to late-August.
Construction completion follows two years of uncertainty about the school's future: Southern Berkshire Regional School District put the school on hiatus in 2016 and the building
South Egremont School will begin educating students again in the fall. So far, there are six students enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year in Egremont.
In April, the Select Board chose general contractor Salco Construction Co., of Pittsfield, which bid $358,182 on the job.
“They got going early,” Turner said. “We've got a company that expedited down the line and it's moving along pretty well.”
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