City Hall restoration is well on track

The Builders will be taking a recess starting on Friday. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

The restoration progress of the Mangaung City Hall is well on track, according to Anton Roodt of Roodt Architects.

Roodt said that once the builders return from their recess, which starts on Friday, they will be focusing on putting up the roof of the structure.

“The big thing for us right now is to get the roof on. It’s actually working in the reverse of a new project. We must first get the roof on and only then can we do the internal finishes. You can’t put in a new wooden floor if the building has no roof,” he said.

Architects are using old photographs of the City Hall to restore it to its previous aesthetic.

The builders have so far constructed large steel trusses, which are in the steel worker’s yard. “The first thing when the builders come back from their break next year, will be to get a special crane from Johannesburg to come and assist with lifting those huge trusses and putting them on the structure itself. Once that’s done, we’ll put on the roof tiles.”
When this has been completed, they will start refurbishing the interior.

“Other work that’s been done already is the sandblasting of the existing internal finishes, such as the brickwork, which had soot that had remained after the fire. The replastering of areas that were damaged during the fire where the plaster had fallen off, as well as sandblasting of the main hall have also been completed. When the main structure collapsed, there were big gauge marks in the brickwork caused by the falling bits of debri, so they are evening out those sorts of things.”

The builders will focus on installing the roof, and thereafter tackle the interior.

Roodt concluded that they are also in discussion with specialists who will remould, recast and repair all the small details that were partially damaged by the fire and after the collapse of the walls. The building is expected to be fully restored by October 2019. – Seithati Semenokane