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Demolition of hospital begins . . . Work has begun knocking down the old Rangiora Hospital after work was completed to remove asbestos from the building . PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

Work has begun demolishing the old Rangiora Hospital to make way for North Canterbury’s new health centre.

It is expected to take four to five months.

The new facility will be part of the Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) Rangiora Health Hub, which will sit alongside the board’s Maternity Unit and Community Services Centre.

CDHB infrastructure executive director Dr Rob Ojala says the work will include redevelopment work at the Ashley Street entrance, and gravelling the former Rangiora Hospital site.

“South Link Health Services Group is working through a resource consent process, and hopes to be able to progress their plans to build and operate the new family health and urgent care centre on the site,” he says.

The new facility will include the existing Rangiora general practitioner centres of Good Street Medical Corner and Rangiora Family Doctors, and will be open for extended hours between 8am and 10pm, seven-days-a-week.

The old hospital building was opened in 1924, and is being demolished because it is no longer fit for purpose. Rangiora’s Taggart Earthmoving began demolition on February 21. Asbestos was removed from the building last October by Scope Group Ltd.