Stadium needs $2m for earthquake-proofing

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:08 02/09/2014

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Marlborough District Councillors are being asked to approve $2 million to strengthen parts of Blenheim's Stadium 2000 because it could be at risk from liquefaction after an earthquake.

Today's assets and services committee meeting is to consider a proposal for earthquake strengthening at the stadium, focusing on its framework and connections to the ground.

The council owns the stadium, which is managed by the stadium trust.

In a report to the committee, staff said the trust had paid for work to retrofit the stadium's stairs, and that work was almost completed.

The report emphasised the building was structurally sound and not earthquake prone.

However, since the Canterbury earthquakes and because Marlborough had four major fault lines crossing it, the council started a seismic review process for all public buildings.

The stadium had a 40 per cent of building code standard, but there was a risk liquefaction of the soil under the building could put building connections under stress. Any building under 33 per cent must be upgraded.

Staff suggested the council might want to strengthen the stadium complex to a higher standard because of its high public use.

The work would be done in two parts with the above-ground works tendered immediately and additional investigation work done to finalise the below ground costs. The maximum cost is $2m.

The report said the remedial work would first modify the existing structure to make the entrance stairway more robust and provide vertical support, tying together adjacent wall panels.

This work would ensure the building exceeded 67 per cent of the building standard but was also reliant on certainty of ground conditions, it said. The cost estimate for that work was $700,000.

"The second area of work is to underpin the Stadium 2000 foundations with jet grout-stabilised soil columns. Jet grouting is a specialised method introduced into New Zealand since the Canterbury earthquakes."

Competitive pricing was obtained from a contractor based on the design scope provided but until the first column was completed there was uncertainty around price. "An estimate has been provided to a maximum of $1,300,000 for this work." cathie.bell@mex.co.nz

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- The Marlborough Express

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