Basilica $2.6m work proceeds

St Patrick's Basilica is getting a chance to breathe as an about $2.6million redevelopment of the 1880s building in South Dunedin proceeds.

St Patrick's redevelopment committee chairman Sean Toomey said the roof at the front of the building, in Macandrew Rd, had been replaced, and the canopy covering it - the largest such canopy used in Dunedin - had been moved to the dome and back half of the building so the roof could be replaced and earthquake strengthening done.

A new floor had been laid, damaged and cracked plaster repaired and woodwork and windows painted, Mr Toomey said.

An impervious material on the outside of the building had been removed to allow the building to breathe.

The building had been damp inside, and there was an assumption in the 1950s it was leaking through the walls.

However, it was later found rising damp was the issue, and the coating had not allowed the building to dry, Mr Toomey said.

The exterior of the building would be painted white.

Windows would be constructed for the arches at the front of the building, Mr Toomey said.

The ornate plaster features inside would be cleaned and painted, as would the ceiling.

A new entrance and link building at the rear would house a kitchen and toilets, making it suitable for community events.

The interior of the basilica would be finished and the space in use by Easter next year, Mr Toomey said.

The whole project would be finished by the end of June, despite the target date having been April, because the project had been extended in scope.