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Waikato Hospital at-risk building to come down

Hilda Ross House

Hilda Ross House

A 50-year-old building, used as temporary accommodation for people accessing several Waikato Hospital services, is to come down.

Demolition of the multi-storey Hilda Ross House, a former nurses home among other things,  starts in July and will be complete by October next year.

Since the Canterbury earthquake in 2011, public entities have been required to complete independent seismic evaluations of all its buildings.

Waikato District Health Board (DHB) is no exception to this and, as a result, some buildings have beenidentified as risks. The most significant one is Hilda Ross House on the Waiora Waikato hospital campus in Hamilton.

Dame Hilda Ross

Dame Hilda Ross

Built in 1963, the building was named after Dame Hilda Ross who was a Waikato Hospital Board member, a Hamilton Borough councillor, deputy mayor and Hamilton Member of Parliament.

The building is at 15 per cent of the current earthquake code which indicates a relatively high risk even though there is a low probability of an earthquake in Hamilton.

The bigger risk is of Hilda Ross House toppling on top of Acute Services Building next door which houses the hospital’s Emergency Department and four medical wards.

The board recently decided that because of the risk, Hilda Ross House would have to be demolished.

Planning is well advanced to handle the disruption demolition will have on the campus.

Early strip out works of the building will commence in July and major works will commence in October following the final relocation of Medihotel.

Bryant Education Centre reception

Bryant Education Centre reception

A portion of the building will be retained from level 1, B1 and 2 including, kitchen and Auditorium but cannot be used during demolition. At the end of demolition, a new roof will go on to make it a two-level building housing meeting rooms, kitchen and Auditorium.

Hilda Ross House contains low-cost accommodation for a number of people including:

  • New Born intensive care mothers who often visit their babies during the night for breast feeding purposes, and their families e.g. siblings, partners
  • Renal patients requiring haemodialysis and in-centre continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
  • Cardiac procedures
  • a range of other services to a lesser degree e.g. short-term staff accommodation
  • Medihotel.
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