Deloraine Folk Museum requires $80,000 fix

An “unsafe” museum requires an extra $80,000 of work to fix the “failing” building.

The Deloraine and Districts Folk Museum walls have eroded to the point where wall fixtures are falling off the wall. The issue was caused by poor ventilation.

In the August council, agenda Meander Valley Council’s corporate manager Jonathon Harmey said water was penetrating the building. 

“The building is failing through erosion of the wall and causing unsafe conditions for council employees, volunteers and visitors,” he said. 

A structural assessment was completed in 2015. The council considered the remediation work and approved the work with a budget of $20,000. 

A subsequent assessment found the required work was “more expensive than expected” and “would require a substantial increase in the capital budget”.

The council considered the additional budget as part of the 2017-18 capital works program in May 2017, but the allocation wasn’t approved. 

The required work involves excavations of some existing walls, installing air drains and sub floor vents and a ventilation system, damp-proofing affected walls and internal plastering and painting. 

“The work required would include installation of ventilation drains to allow water to be directed away from the walls,” Mr Harmey said.

“The walls will be injected with a waterproofing agent and will take time to dry out from their current damp state. Repairs to render and paint will be required following this to finalise the interior work.”

A heritage approved contractor must be used. 

In June a bookshelf had to be removed from the museum after its wall fixtures fell away from the wall. 

“The rising damp has eroded the wall to the point where the fixtures had fallen out,” Mr Harmey said. 

“The area is not an optimal environment for people to use for long periods as mould could affect the respiratory system.”

Mr Harmey said not completing the works would cause the affected area to be unusable because of safety requirements. 

The council will vote to allocate the extra funds at its Tuesday meeting. 

  • The museum is not closed.