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14 June 2018

Canterbury Heritage Awards Finalist - CBHS Deans Farm Buildings

These two buildings were thought to be a blacksmith's forge/stables and a piggery. Together they now house a boardroom, museum, archive room, uniform shop and PTA facility.

CBHS Headmaster Nic Hill believes the repurposed Deans Farm Buildings form a real link between the school and the origins of Christchurch and with Deans Bush.

"You can't put a price on a building like this. It's an important place not only to our school, but also to our city. These are some of the oldest surviving brick buildings in Canterbury," said Christchurch Boys' High School Senior Master Craig Dunnett. 

The project was delivered by a team of specialist project managers and contractors, architects, heritage conservationists and archaeologists. Built circa 1856, the Deans Farm buildings were bought by Christchurch Boys' High School in 1926. By the time the restoration project began, "they had deteriorated into a severely dilapidated condition, worsened by the series of Canterbury earthquakes, and they had also suffered severe fire damage," said project director Stephen Threadgall.

The project saw the buildings closed and braced in a propped up state before they were strengthened and restored to 67 per cent of New Building Standards. Thanks to fundraising, a Christchurch City Council heritage grant of $62,000, and $85,000 from the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Building Trust, the buildings were able to be repurposed and reopened, bringing them back into the Christchurch Boys' High School fold.

Christchurch Boys' High School Headmaster Nic Hill said "The buildings form a real link between the school and the origins of Christchurch, and with Deans Bush. As a school we are really proud that we have been able to preserve them for many generations to enjoy."