27 Mar 2017

The earthquake-damaged Lancaster Park Stadium will be deconstructed, with as much material as possible salvaged or recycled.

Christchurch City Council made the decision to deconstruct the stadium at its meeting last week.  The decision was made in the public excluded section of the meeting for commercial reasons.

The Council and its venue management company, Vbase, which owns the stadium, will manage the deconstruction. Planning will begin immediately, with deconstruction likely to start in December.  It will take about a year to complete.

The Lancaster Park war memorial gates, built to commemorate the Canterbury athletes who served in World War I, are to be protected and preserved during the deconstruction.

The earthquake damaged Lancaster Park Stadium.

Deconstruction of Lancaster Park Stadium will start in December.

“Managing the project ourselves, along with Vbase, allows us to maximise the opportunities for recycling materials and is the most cost-effective of the three options we looked at,’’ said Council Project Director Lee Butcher.

“Having direct control of the deconstruction also means we can ensure the local community is engaged in the process and kept informed along the way.’’

Vbase General Manager Darren Burden said the Council’s decision to deconstruct Lancaster Park Stadium was supported by Vbase’s board.

“We’re pleased to now have a clear path forward,’’ Mr Burden said.

While Vbase would fund the capital cost of the deconstruction, that cost would be off-set by operational savings as Vbase would no longer need to spend money on maintaining the Stadium and keeping it secure.

As the Council and Vbase will be going out to the market seeking tenders from companies keen to be involved in the deconstruction, the estimated cost of the work will not be released at this stage.

The Council took the decision to deconstruct Lancaster Park after receiving a report late last year from quantity surveying firm, Rawlinsons.

The company was commissioned by the Council to conduct an independent review of all the investigative work done at Lancaster Park by the Council, its advisors, and its insurers to gauge the extent of the earthquake damage to the stadium.

The epicentre of the February 2011 earthquake was located only about 6km south-east of Lancaster Park and caused significant damage to the stadium. The Hadlee Stand has already been demolished because it was considered unsafe. The remaining stands all have widespread, severe damage.

The Rawlinsons report concluded re-commissioning Lancaster Park as a venue capable to holding top international rugby tests would cost between $252 million and $275 million.

It estimated repairing the damaged foundations alone would cost between $39 million and $49 million.

No decisions have been made on the process for determining the future use of Lancaster Park once the demolition is completed. A report on process options is expected to be brought before the Council in April.