By Jodealyn Cadacio
The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board has finished restoring two of Fort Takapuna’s heritage-listed barracks and will soon be available for community use.
Built in 1939 in the North Shore suburb of Narrow Neck, the barracks have been retrofitted just in time for the centenary year of the ANZAC commemoration.
The reestablishment, which started in early September 2014, involved landscaping as well as some insulation and structural works. It also included renovations of the kitchen and bathroom areas.
The two barracks now have spacious halls as well as smaller rooms that residents, groups or organisations can hire for an array of activities such as meetings or fitness classes.
The project, funded by the Local Board, embodies the objectives stated in their local board plan, which included preserving the area’s heritage and providing the community with a wide range of facilities.
“We are really fortunate that this opportunity arose to recognise our coastal military heritage,” says Mike Cohen, Chair of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, who believes that the project will also offer community spaces for the local residents to enjoy.
“We were able to restore and save these buildings from neglect and they can be used constructively for community organisations,” Cohen adds.
Residents residing in the area believe the restoration will complement this year’s ANZAC commemoration.
Eleah Ramos, a tertiary student who lives in Narrow Neck, says that project is a “good idea” as it will not only provide people highly valued places, it will also honour the soldiers who fought and lost their lives in Gallipoli.
“By restoring and preserving these Second World War barracks, we are honouring them and preserving our military history, which is really important for this community,” the 20-year old says.
Another Auckland resident shares his views about the refurbishment of the two barracks.
Benny Medina, a 42-year old man, also feels positive about the local board’s recent success. He says that it “reflects their respect towards our community.”
To find out more information about the refurbished barracks, please contact Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.