Stadium's expenses revealed

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 30/06/2014

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After remaining tightlipped for years, Stadium Southland bosses have opened their books to reveal why the new stadium cost $43.5 million and why it is still short of funds.

Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust has calculated it still needs $5m "to get across the line" and has accepted a challenge from Prime Minister John Key that if "local tins were rattled", the Government would be prepared to contribute to making up a shortfall.

So, it is asking the region's businesses and individuals to take part in its Rattle the Tin fundraiser.

Trust deputy chairman Alan Dennis said the trust was criticised for the rebuild costs so wanted to clear the air and show the public how the money was spent.

The original stadium, which collapsed in 2010, cost $11.4m to build in 2000 but costs of the new stadium rocketed to $43.5m.

Those costs were mainly associated with changes to the building code and future-proofing the stadium, which cost about $19.8m.

All extra work had incurred great cost and was only undertaken after community consultation, Dennis said.

After advice from engineers, the building was quake-strengthened to 100 per cent of the code instead of the minimum 35 per cent.

The core block became a big issue and the trust had to spend a further $3.5m bringing it up to the standard of the rest of the building.

"The trust chose not to compromise on quality and standards. Although this has come at some cost, we didn't want to look back at 'what-ifs'. We decided the people of Southland would appreciate the safest building in Southland," Dennis said.

Further costs came from future-proofing the venue and included: larger community courts, an enlarged entrance, new toilets, larger lounge areas, upgraded seating, sound system, scoreboards, climbing wall, new administration block and ensuring the building had all the requirements needed for people with disabilities. The costs also included inflation, he said.

Another significant expense, of which the public was not aware, was the cost of replacing the athletics clubrooms, he said.

"Although Southern Institute of Technology provided the labour and a building firm provided materials at cost, there were still significant costs on top of that we picked up."

The trust was criticised for spending nearly $1m on the monster vision but there had been positive feedback from those attending events, he said.

Dennis said it was largely funded by the ILT, and the insurance company had contributed to costs. The idea was to use it as an income source by selling adverts.

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Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt said the $5m was needed to make the venue "debt free" and take a huge amount of the pressure off the cashflow. "We believe the extra costs are well-spent," he said.

The best technology and innovative equipment ensured the stadium was a flexible, multipurpose venue.

COST BREAKDOWN

Larger Community Court area $3.9m

Enlarged entrance $6.6m

New toilets $1m

Larger lounge areas $600,000

Upgraded seating, sound system, scoreboards, climbing wall $2.3m

New roll-out seating $1.5m

Strengthened core block $3.2m

New administration block $300,000

Roading and athletic clubrooms rebuild $400,000 

- The Southland Times

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