Cowles Stadium to be repaired and earthquake strengthened
Earthquake strengthening and repairs, which will allow the closed Cowles Stadium to re-open in early August, will go ahead following approval at today's Council meeting.
Work is expected to begin in May at the stadium in Pages Road, Aranui after the Council approved a staff recommendation to repair and strengthen the building to 100 percent of the New Building Standard
(NBS) at a cost of $480,000. The proposed work includes minor repairs to roof and wall bracing.
Although a geotechnical report has shown some of the land underneath the building has settled, this has not significantly affected the building and repairing it to 100 percent of the NBS will ensure the safety of people using it. The Council has decided not to remediate the land and the building's foundations at this time. This work would cost an estimated $3m-$5m and would require an insurance settlement, which would take an estimated 18 months to finalise.
The decision not to repair the land and building's foundations now will mean the building has a consent for 20 years. However, the Council could decide at a later date to remediate the land, which would ensure the building could be used for longer.
Cowles Stadium is a large, multi-functional, indoor venue that has hosted many international and national sports competitions. It was also used as a welfare centre after the September 2010 and February and June
General Manager Community Services Michael Aitken says before its closure the stadium was used extensively as a sporting and community facility. By doing earthquake repairs and strengthening now, the stadium can be operating much sooner than if the Council decided to remediate the land and the building's foundations.
"This is a very cost effective solution to fix the building and ensure it is available for use by our community for the next 20 years. There is a critical shortage of indoor courts across the city following the earthquakes, which will be alleviated by Cowles Stadium being able to re-open. This facility is also a focal point for one of our hardest-hit communities post-earthquake and its re-opening will be a morale boost for them," Mr Aitken says.
Mayor Bob Parker says it is great news that Cowles Stadium will be able to re-open this year. "This facility is important for many sporting groups in Christchurch, who I know will greatly welcome its return, especially over the winter months. It is also important to have an emergency centre on the eastern side of the city and Cowles Stadium has served this purpose well."
Cowles Stadium has been closed since last year after a Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE) showed there was damage to the roof trusses. It also showed the building was 10 to 66 percent of the New Building Standard.