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Vbase’s Plans to bring Christchurch venues ‘back to life’
Christchurch venue manager Vbase has outlined its ongoing work to reinstate the Christchurch Convention Centre, Christchurch Town Hall, AMI Stadium and CBS Canterbury Arena following damage in the earthquake of 22nd Febraury.
In a media briefing, and subsequent Vbase statement, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and Vbase Chief Executive Bryan Pearson explained "Vbase has full replacement value insurance for all venues and operating equipment as well as comprehensive business interruption insurance. Consultants and insurers are working closely with Vbase in developing a full understanding of the status of the four venues and the work that is needed to bring them back to life.
"Preliminary assessments of the venues confirmed structural damage to Christchurch Convention Centre, Christchurch Town Hall for Performing Arts and AMI Stadium.
"Detailed assessments of Christchurch Town Hall and Christchurch Convention Centre are continuing and will not be finalised until early May 2011. Access to both buildings is limited and assessment of the Christchurch Town Hall has been further impeded by flooding to the basement where all of the buildings electrical and mechanical plant is located.
"Christchurch Town Hall suffered extensive damage from differential settlement. The most obvious impacts of this are the Limes Room/Boaters wing, which has separated from the main structure and extensive damage to floors including in the James Hay Theatre and main Auditorium. There is wide spread superficial damage throughout the venue. Christchurch Art Gallery has been engaged to protect or remove the precious artworks from the Christchurch Town Hall and Christchurch Convention Centre. It is not possible to allow access for assessment of the highly acclaimed Town Hall Rieger Organ until power is restored to the building which may take several weeks. Stage one of the Town Hall Conservation and Refurbishment project was underway at the time of the earthquake and further work has now been suspended.
"Christchurch Convention Centre suffered moderate structural damage from differential settlement and extensive damage to floors from liquefaction. Again there is wide spread superficial damage throughout the venue. Once all assessments are complete and the extent of repair is known,
implications for the proposed Christchurch Convention Centre expansion project will be considered in conjunction with Christchurch City Council and Ministry of Economic Development.
"Until all geo technical, structural, architectural, electrical and mechanical assessments are completed it is not possible to provide a full picture of the damage, scope of repair and time frame for reopening of Christchurch Town Hall for Performing Arts and Christchurch Convention Centre. "However, it is now clear that both venues will remain closed until at least early 2012."
Mayor Parker described the Town Hall as one Christchurch's great architectural icons, stating "we need a clear understanding of the scale of work required to preserve this wonderful building. We are determined to ensure the Town Hall continues to be one of the defining features of our city..
"Christchurch Convention Centre is also very important to us as a city. It plays a vital role in attracting business and tourism and we need to move quickly to make sure Christchurch has a large scale facility to drive this important business."
The status of AMI Stadium, announced on 16th March, led to the rescheduling of Rugby World Cup matches away from the venue.
The statement explained that "all assessments have now been finalized and work is underway to fully scope, plan and commence repairs.
"AMI Stadium will be closed for the remainder of 2011 and is expected to reopen in February 2012 in time for Super Rugby and the South African cricket tour of New Zealand.
"Due to the extensive repairs required, AMI Stadium conference and function facilities will reopen at the same time and not progressively from September 2011 as previously advised."
One bright note for Vbase has been the CBS Canterbury Arena, which reopened for normal business from Saturday 26th March. Vbase is supporting Westpac with its outstanding Business Hub initiative located adjacent to CBS Canterbury Arena.
The statement also highlighted that "Vbase venues host 1800 events annually and bring between $60-100 million of visitor spending into Christchurch every year. The reinstatement of Christchurch Convention Centre, Christchurch Town Hall, AMI Stadium and CBS Canterbury Arena is critical to economic recovery as it will bring visitors back to Christchurch. The many entertainment events the venues host will raise spirits by giving our community something to look forward to in these challenging times."
Image shows AMI Stadium prior to the earthquakes.
9th March 2011 - CHRISTCHURCH RUGBY WORLD CUP GAMES HINGE ON ENGINEERING REPORTS
22nd February 2011 - TRAGEDY AS 6.3 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE HITS CHRISTCHURCH
5th September 2010 - HERITAGE AND LEISURE BUILDINGS SUFFER IN CHRISTCHURCH QUAKE
17th November 2009 - POSEIDON’S LAIR OPENS AT CHRISTCHURCH’S QEII PARK
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