A place to be proud of.
In late 2014 Whangarei Men’s Shed purchased from the Whangarei District Council the old Whangarei Railway Station with the purpose of turning it into a series of workshops and recreational areas as a base for Whangarei Men’s Shed.
The somewhat dilapidated building with a badly leaking roof, rotten weatherboards, and many other problems required major remedial work to achieve our purpose.
The station is also a Category 2 listed building with Heritage New Zealand and any work had to be done within this listing category. We employed the services of an architect with experience in this type of project to advise and guide us going forward.
There are two inter-related aspects to the project.
- The provision of a series of workshops, recreational areas and other facilities needed for the operation of Men’s Shed and to create a community facility. (mostly internal work)
- Before the above could be done the building first needed to be made water-tight and sound. This was predominantly external work which in the main is the heritage aspect of the project. Whangarei Men’s Shed took this aspect of the project on as a community project for current and future generations and this has involved a complete restoration of the building to comply with its Heritage (category 2) listing
Pre-requisites to obtaining major funding required the production of a Feasibility Study, Conservation Plan, plus engineer, fire and quantity surveyor reports, business plans and budgets. This aspect of the project would not have been possible without funding which was provided by Lotteries Community Facilities Fund, Lotteries Environment and Heritage Fund, Pub Charity Limited, and our own resources.
Once these pre-requisites were met we then applied for the major funding to carry out the project. This was achieved towards the end of 2016 utilising the above funders plus Foundation North. These funders provided us with just under one million dollars. A contractor was employed and the project commenced prior to Christmas 2016.
As at December 2017 the heritage aspect of the building is 90% completed and the Shed internal portion is 70% completed.
The overall completion of the project will be towards the end of 2019.
Below are a number of images of the railway station, as work got underway to renovate the entire building.
This included re-piling as necessary, re-wiring, re-plumbing, re-roofing and re-lining the entire building with gib board.
The members then spent hours re-painting the entire building to what we now see today.
The Men’s Shed as it is today
A heritage Grade 2 building that has been lovingly restored to as good if not better than when new.
This is a building that all involved with should be immensely proud.