The removal and reconstruction of the Wesley Uniting Church was a win on both counts for the Warwick community.
The removal and reconstruction of the Wesley Uniting Church was a win on both counts for the Warwick community.

Blast from past: Reconstruction of church a major task

Extract from Warwick Daily News, Wednesday, February 12, 1997:

CHURCH READY TO START NEW LIFE

Reconstruction of The Scots PGC Chapel, formerly known as the Wesley Uniting Church, is now complete.

It stands amid the trees at the College Oxenhan Street, Warwick Campus, - complete with cracks and imperfections - testimony to its 122 years.

Already it seems difficult to imagine that its previous 121 years were spent at the corner of Grafton and Guy Streets in downtown Warwick.

The building still wears graffiti from the relocation wrangle - a faded protest in the words 'Save The Church" still visible on sandstone at the main entrance. Cornerstones are to be placed where the brick kindergarten was to remind everyone of how it appeared in its former life.

The man who made it all happen - developer Robert McConaghy explains: "It was in the agreement (A heritage council requirement) that we re-erect the church as close as possible to its original state," McConaghy Construction joint managing director Robert McConaghy said on-site yesterday.

It took six months to reconstruct the sand stone building.

This stands as proof that McConaghy Constructions would honour their promises, according to Warwick Shire Mayor Bruce Green.

"This beautiful building is today proof of their commitment.

"And the community has won on both counts. They now have a building which can be used for its original purpose (a church) and they have space available for a new shopping centre in the CBD," he said.

McConaghy Constructions, with sub-contractors Riteway Constructions, rebuilt the chapel under the direction of heritage architect Richard Allom of Allom Lovell Marquis-Kyle Architects.

A$600,000 bond was lodged with Warwick Shire Council to ensure its re-erection and this will be refundable after a final inspection of Mr. Allom.

Mr. McConaghy could not confirm the cost of relocating the church but said it "wasn't cheap."

Each piece of the church was numbered and photographed - a process called photogrammetry - to ensure it was re-erected just as it was.

The sandstone, timber ceiling and leadlighted windows are evidence of this process. Some aspects such as interior plasterwork and clockwork had been modified comply with relevant building codes, Mr. McConaghy said.

McConaghys will lay turf and landscape the surroundings while Scots PGC College will add the "finishing touches" - floor coverings, lighting and other interior decoration.



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