Heritage-listed courthouse building gets some TLC

Peter Hill

ROOF repairs on the heritage-listed Yarram Courthouse have been carried out by Sale builder Ian Carter and his team.

For years, the courthouse gallery has been bedevilled by leaks dripping through the highly polished vaulted timber ceiling, with broken slate tiles believed to be the main issue.

However, Mr Carter told the Gippsland Times it was more complex than simply cracked slates.

The tall lead-cased spire about the central gallery was the main culprit, with the lead casing and capping having deteriorated and leaking rain water.

Mr Carter erected a tall scaffolding inside the building to gain access to the ceiling cavity, enabling inspection of the underside of the roof itself, and confirming the source of the leak that falls directly into the central gallery.

In addition, some of the slate tiles had slipped from their fixings leaving gaps above the ceiling and above the box guttering at the sides and rear of the building, often dripping rainwater into the visitor information centre and gift and craft gallery.

Using a huge self-propelled boom lift, Mr Carter’s team has been able to carry out temporary repairs that should protect the building until a full reroofing can be carried out.

A Wellington Shire Council spokesperson confirmed the work being carried out was only a temporary measure to ensure the integrity of the building and to keep the volunteers who run the tourist information centre and art gallery from getting wet.

They added council was attempting to obtain the services of specialist heritage roofing contractors to carry out more permanent repairs, or even possibly a re-roofing of the building.

“As it’s heritage listed, it has to be done properly,” the spokesperson said.

“There is nothing set in concrete yet, but we are hoping to get it done later this year.”