Demolition on horizon for Menzies Hotel after serious structural issues highlighted in report
The locally cherished Menzies Hotel building is facing full or partial demolition after an engineer’s report found serious structural issues with the ageing building.
The owner of the 123-year-old building, Mr Sudhir, has squashed rumours he has already set a closing date, but said it was inevitable that major works would need to take place for the safety of the public.
It comes after structural issues with a section of the north-west corner wall of the building were observed, but a further investigation found the building was overall in a “precarious position” and would likely need full or partial demolition.
Having owned the building for the past few years and recognising the significance of the building in the small community, Mr Sudhir said demolition was the last thing he ever wanted for the building but he was left with few options.
“It’s been many, many years of vibrations from the road, blastings from the mines, it’s all taken its toll,” he said.
“We know how much the building means to the locals, there’s people who were born there and they say ‘those cracks have been there for decades, don’t worry’ ... but we have to do something for the safety of those who want to use the building.
“I think the best option we have at the moment is to demolish the really bad half, and try and keep the front as best as we can so that it can remain open, but we are still looking at all of our options.
“Whether we have to fully demolish or partially demolish this building, we are going to keep the culture of the building the best we can. Anything inside that we can keep, we will. And we will put that in the front or in the new building.”
Mr Sudhir said he would hear what the community wanted moving forward, but his hands were tied by the findings of the report.
“I haven’t made a decision and I won’t make a decision like that without the community. The whole town is dependent on that business, as well as traffic passing through,” he said.
“It’s not just up to me. This is one of the last remaining old buildings, I know it is important to the community.”
The report, sighted by The Kalgoorlie Miner, stated it was “critical” a long-term strategy for the building be agreed soon and recommended the level one hotel rooms remain closed off until further notice and a “substantial partial demolition” may be the most practical way forward.
It stated the works associated with trying to salvage the building would be “vast” but a partial demolition may allow the bar lounge to be salvaged as it is a part of the building critical to the community.
However, it also said salvaging the lounge may prove difficult once demolition works start and a full demolition and small-scale rebuild to reinstate the pub lounge may be the best option.
“Some people think that this is what I want, but I lose the most here,” Mr Sudhir said.
“I lose the building, I lose the rent and have to pay for all of these works.
“I want to keep it running, I have no intentions of making myself lose money, but the building has to be safe, that’s what it is all about.
“And if anything this gives us the opportunity to look at our options and give the community a new building that will last for another 123 years.”
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