A $30 million housing project at Wellington’s Erskine College has been given the go-ahead after legal issues with heritage groups that threatened to stall the project were ironed out.
The Save Erskine College Trust (SECT) and Heritage New Zealand have given approval to most of the development of the former Catholic girls’ school in the seaside suburb of Island Bay.
Under the agreement, developer Ian Cassels’ Wellington Company can start work on the development while further engineering, design and feasibility work is done on the main convent building and chapel.
I have very fond memories of Erskine, having fled there chased by nuns on a couple of occasions they became aware my secondary school self was on the premises in the evening.
If the main convent building can be saved the development may lose a proposed early childcare facility and cafe.
But the project will still include a $7m restoration of Erskine’s historic chapel and a refurbishment of its wedding/function centre and restoration of the Reverend Mother’s Garden, Cassels said.
A cafe up there would be great.