7500 columns to be installed at Metro Sports Facility

An artists impression of the aquatic facilities at the Metro Sports Facility. IMAGE: OTAKARO LTD

About 7500 in-ground stone columns will be installed over the next eight months at the Metro Sports Facility.

The work begin next month to prepare the site for main construction work which is expected to begin in early 2019.

The work will be done by March Menard Joint Venture.

It comes after a $75 million budget blow out was revealed in November by Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods. The joint venture with Leighs Cockram Joint Venture was axed.

In May, figures provided to The Star showed certain “cosmetic changes” such as glazing, external cladding and an entrance canopy, would save millions.

The estimated cost had been reduced by $50 million due to these and the “procurement approach”.

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Ōtākaro Ltd chief executive Albert Brantley, who is leaving the organisation, said column work to the scale planned had not happened in Christchurch before.

“Stone column work has been a fairly common sight around Christchurch but not on this scale, given the Metro Sports Facility will occupy over 30,000m2,” he said.

“These groundworks will ramp up throughout the year and will be in full swing from late September until March/April 2019, to tie in to the start of the main construction works.

As we have seen with the progress on the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre development, once the physical work starts, the progress is swift,” said Mr Brantley.

Ōtākaro is currently undertaking a formal procurement process to shortlist prospective Main Works contractors, and plans to issue a Request for Tender to selected contractors for a build-only contract in September of this year.

Main construction would begin early next year and is expected to be completed late in 2021.