Central Otago residents are being urged to make their views known about the future of the region’s history, as a range of options in three districts comes under the spotlight.
They include the future of the Clyde Museums buildings and Alexandra’s Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery and library, and the possibility of a new Cromwell museum being included in a potential new arts, culture and heritage hub near the Old Cromwell Historic Precinct.
Central Otago District Council staff said it was important residents had their say and took part in public consultation.
A recently released Clyde Museums Feasibility Study outlines six options for the Clyde buildings, some of which have been closed due to earthquake risk.
The options are to close both the Blyth St and Briar Herb Museum, redistribute their collections, and not build any new museum; keep the Blyth St museum open as it is and keep the Briar Herb Museum closed, i.e. retain the status quo; upgrade both museums; upgrade the Blyth St museum and demolish parts of the Briar Herb complex, retaining the original Briar Herb factory building and relocating the Clyde goods shed opposite the railway building; redevelop the Briar Herb site, by closing the Blyth St building and relocating its collection, demolishing the newer parts of the Briar Herb complex, relocating the goods shed and building a new purpose-built museum on the Briar Herb site; or build a new museum elsewhere in the Clyde town centre, closing the Blyth St museum, and either retaining or demolishing parts of the Briar Herb complex and goods shed.
Council property and facilities officer Christina Martin urged people to read the detail of the options presented, including about the history of the Clyde buildings.
Only some were historic, she said. Others, such as the mudbrick part of the Briar Herb complex, were in fact recent, relatively modern additions, and did not have the same heritage values as the original Briar Herb factory building, for example.
The future of Central Stories is also under scrutiny, including whether the Alexandra Library should be moved to the museum complex.
Significant public consultation has been done so far and three shortlisted options are now being researched further, following a feasibility study that explored six options. More consultation will be done later.
The three shortlisted options are to extend the Central Stories building to incorporate the library and a cafe; refit Central Stories on its current footprint to include a library and cafe; or refit Central Stories on its current footprint to include a cafe and internal toilets.
Only rough costings of the Central Stories options have been released and more detailed costings will be done. The three options being further researched range from about $2.8 million to $7.3 million.
No costings have yet been released for the Clyde museum options.
Residents can also make submissions about the possibility of a new arts, culture and heritage hub in the Old Cromwell Historic Precinct.
The hub features in some of the Cromwell Masterplan options, and could include a new Cromwell Museum.
★ Consultation on this stage of the Cromwell master plan closes on November 19 and can be done through www.codc.govt.nz/futurecromwell or by picking up a print copy from the Cromwell Service Centre.
★ To find out more about the Clyde museum options go to www.codc.govt.nz/yourcouncil/project-updates/clyde—museums/Pages/default.aspx or contact the CODC. Consultation closes November 23.
★ More information about the Central Stories options will be released once the three shortlisted options have been researched further.