Heritage re-build a specialist skill
St Mary's chapel conservation project required earthquake strengthening and specialist restoration skills to bring the chapel back its former glory.
Bob adds, "At one stage the conservators from Heritage New Zealand came to site and were delighted that the main supporting columns to the Chapel were able to be widened and strengthened without detracting from the style and symmetry of the special sets of Chapel windows, demonstrating the high level of skilled specialists on the Lobell team."
Once the convent had been demolished, Lobell was able to construct a new entrance into the Chapel which featured special decorative ramps to suit the style of the Chapel and provide wheelchair access. Then Lobell constructed a feature memorial wall and gateway utilising the inscribed lintel beam and bricks salvaged from the demolition of the brick walls originally surrounding the former convent building.
Bob says "This feature is an important part of the history of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions here in Hamilton, and we wanted to make sure that we preserved and acknowledged the contribution of the Sisters to Catholic education throughout the Waikato and beyond."
The Chapel was officially re-opened in September 2017, and 40 Sisters from throughout New Zealand, gathered for the opening. All the Sisters were delighted with the outcome and ambience of the restored Chapel created by Lobell's restoration team.
Bob explains "St. Mary's Chapel is a historic building which is much valued by the community. The sensitive restoration work carried out by Lobell has been a great success and has enhanced the life and value of an iconic heritage building for many years to come. The Chapel is again being used for weddings, funerals and church gatherings."
"Lobell Construction understood the specific needs of the restoration work, and had the skills and experience to deliver an outstanding result. Lobell's Managing Director was on site regularly which was another key to the success of the project". The Project Team achieved an excellent result."