Stadium repairs on track for Masters Games

ADAM ROBERTS
Last updated 13:00 29/07/2013
Saxton Stadium flood
JONATHAN MCKEOWN/FAIRFAX NZ
TEAM EFFORT: Sport Tasman's facilities manager Brent Maru and contractor Alex Dufeu during the clean up at Saxton Stadium following April's floods.

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Saxton Stadium is on track to reopen in time for the South Island Masters Games in October.

The Nelson City Council opened up the stadium, which has been closed to the public since April, for a short media tour to update its repair progress.

The $12 million stadium was closed indefinitely after flash flooding in April submerged the $500,000 "floating" hardwood floor in contaminated water, bowing the wood and making the surface unusable.

The flooding also damaged offices used by Sport Tasman, with the ceiling collapsing in one area.

Council community facilities supervisor Arthur Nelson said repair work, covered by the council's insurance, was on track to be completed by September 30.

Sport Tasman would be able to move back into its offices in the next week or so, and the work of re-laying the hardwood floor would begin August 20, and take about a month.

The work had involved up to 13 tradesmen at any one time, with the lead contract going to Scott Construction.

Since the flooding, sports clubs have been using alternative venues. Mr Nelson said the sporting season had been "a squeeze, to put it mildly", but praised organisers for their hard work.

A planned table-tennis tournament for this month had been cancelled.

At this stage the repair was on schedule, but Sport Tasman had an alternative plan for the Masters Games, which begin on October 5, if there were any delays, he said.

Council network services executive manager Alec Louverdis said the Masters Games had been a factor when it came to planning the repair of the building, but the timeline had been driven by insurers.

Louverdis said the storm had been a one-in-500-year event, and the council would not be changing the design of the stadium to counter such events, instead redesigning culverts and bridges to increase rivers' capacity.

"You're not going to see massive bunds constructed around here. We would never, ever design for a one-in-500-year event."

Instead, the stadium would be rebuilt exactly as it was before the flooding, he said.

"From our perspective we want like for like."

Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio said money in the council's Annual Plan would go towards improving areas like nearby Orphanage Creek, to maximise their capacity during such weather events.

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- The Nelson Mail

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