Flood-damaged Saxton Stadium has re-opened, on schedule and just-in-time.
More than 2500 athletes have descended on the Saxton facilities for the South Island Masters Games, which kick-off today and continue to October 13.
The $12 million stadium had been closed since April when a flash flood submerged the $500,000 hardwood floor, bowing the wood and making the surface unusable.
The contaminated floorboards were ripped up and replaced, and the facility now boasts a new 3800 square metre floor made of "first grade Canadian cedar" which Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio says is an upgrade on the original wood.
"Now we have got a better stadium," he said.
The Richmond deluge also damaged Sport Tasman offices, stadium wall panels and the linoleum floor in the lobby, which has been replaced.
"It's a credit to all concerned that this major repair project has been completed on time," Mr Miccio said yesterday.
Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne said management of the stadium was a "great joint project" between the councils, and he looked forward to more events being booked at the facility.
The flood waters rose at just the wrong time, right before the winter sports season started, and many codes have had to host matches and house managers at temporary venues and offices since then, Mr Miccio said.
"It's great everyone worked so well together while the stadium was closed and can now all get back to using this popular facility," he said.
In terms of mitigating damage from potential future floods, upgrades had been made to the guttering at Sports House, so that water will overflow on to the outside concrete if it backs up, rather than bursting pipes and entering the building, Mr Miccio said.
He said contractors had also cleared Saxton and Orphanage creeks, improving their flow and making another flood less likely.
Sport Tasman's general manager of facilities Brent Maru said the stadium's electrical supply has been improved, with three-phase power points replacing a lower-amped single-phase system.
"It's gruntier power," he said, which allowed sound equipment and lighting to be plugged directly into sockets inside the stadium.
"In terms of capacity and catering for events and tournaments that three-phase power is key," Mr Maru said.
Stadium manager Tony Naylor said there was a mad rush of cleaning and finishing final touches in advance of the Masters arriving.
Everyone pulled through and the only clue that the stadium had just re-opened would be the temporary signs above the changing rooms, he said.
Stadium maintenance and management funding is divided proportionately between the Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, but the stadium is 100-per cent owned by the NCC whose insurers covered the repair bill with an excess of $10,000, Mr Miccio said.
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