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Hospital demo is gathering pace

The demolition of Masterton’s old hospital is nearing completion. PHOTOS/GEORGE SHIERS

A digger pulled down part of an old hospital building in Masterton on Tuesday, as the demolition edges nearer to completion.

Work has begun taking apart an old ward, the largest building at the site, which involved salvaging materials for recycling before pulling the three-storey structure down to the ground.

So far, over 400-tonnes of material have been salvaged from the 26 buildings, which would be recycled for things such as roads, old houses with specific wood requirements or given to local Iwi for carving.

Including the ward, there were four buildings still to come down, including one which was being used as the construction site office.

Land Information New Zealand [LINZ] project and hazard management delivery manager Matt Bradley said the focus of the demolition had been to salvage as much material as possible.

“While we have already managed to salvage a significant amount of material, the three-storey ward is where we expect to save the most.

“This building was previously covered in lead-based paint which has been carefully removed to enable the concrete to be crushed and repurposed.

“Through this commitment, we’ve managed to divert 423 tonnes from landfill.

“Once the demolition is complete, we expect the total amount salvaged will be around 2800 tonnes.”

Other remaining structures included the former nurse’s home and the Nightingale Ward, both of which contained significant amounts of native timber.

Challenges of the project included disconnecting the buildings from connections to services and not allowing the site’s activity to disrupt the operation of the Masterton Medical Centre next door.

The site also had to be boarded up to protect it from trespassers.

Before LINZ took over the project, the building had problems with graffiti and arson attempts which had the potential to damage the material and impact the operations of the hospital.

Teams also found unexpected amounts of asbestos which had to be manually removed, including asbestos tiles on the roof.

The buildings were expected to be cleared within the next few weeks, with final site works completed by November.

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