|Up-date on rebuild .... August 2013|
Below is an e-mail the I received from John McBrearty, chairman of the Track & Field Committee of Athletics Canterbury (dated 15 August 2013)
This afternoon Alan Tucker and I attended a presentation by Simon Battrick and Alistair McGuffie, the Christchurch City Council staff who are working on the NPW sports hub.
This was a follow on from a workshop on Tuesday, 13 August 2013, when Christchurch City Councillors met with Simon and John Filsell of the Recreation and Sports Unit at the Council. We were assured by Simon that yesterday's "The Press" report on that meeting was not a fair representation of the Council view. Only one of the 14 councillors was not keen on the idea (her view was dominant in "The Press" report) and the other apparently opposing comments related to some very specific concerns (e.g. public transport) that are to be considered in the next stage anyway.
Sports and organisations invited and represented at the presentation today included rugby league, tennis, Sport Canterbury, rugby, Canterbury A & P Association, Sport NZ, athletics, football, Olympia Gymnastics and Beca (engineering consultants).
The purpose of the presentation was -
"To provide a progress update on the concept of a Sports Hub including an Athletics Track at Nga Puna Wai and to discuss the key project objectives and the next steps."
The meeting was told that in selecting NPW the Council staff considered possibilities including Avonhead Park, Templeton land and Carrs Reserve in addition to NPW.
Why NPW - the Council looked at the hubbing concept, size and shape of the park, reasonably central, low impact on other users, transport network, growth area of town, land quality and Council owned.
The Council believe the risks to NPW include sports buying into the concept, transport implications, funding arrangements, A & P Show car parking and other plans, zoning requirements and community/resident buy in. The A & P Show representatives made it very clear they are not happy to give up their current arrangements which we believe are parking on NPW for one month each year.
The "Next Steps" were listed as -
1. Council support for NPW as the preferred location for an Athletics Track and Sports Hub.
2. Council has approved a feasibility/concept plan to be developed for an athletics track and sports hub at NPW including consultation with key stakeholders.
3. Stakeholder meetings re concept plan August - November 2013.
4. Council staff provide a report on Athletics Track and Sports Hub feasibility at NPW with possible staged delivery - November/December 2013.
5. Build Athletics Track (early 2014) - hopefully!
6. Build other sporting facilities in a staged process (or earlier).
The geotechnical assessment revealed that the the polo ground area of NPW is unsuitable for infrastructure however the South Zone (close to Templetons and Halswell Roads and Aidenfield sub division) makes this area "relatively more suitable for a sports facility infrastructure". We believe this South Zone area comprises 18 hectares. Our requirement is 350m x 250m - 8.75 hectares!
So in summary, the Council have approved a feasibility study (including zoning issues) be undertaken and this will be done by Beca. Each of the sports will meet with Beca and Council staff to go over requirements. This study will take place over the period August to November 2013 with a report to go to the Councillors in December 2013.
After the recent earthquake on 22nd February 2011, QEII the home base of Athletics Canterbury has been badly damaged. Currently the whole complex has a red sticker and it is highly possible that it will have to be pulled down. In fact, we may not even be able to get in to obtain our gear. The Athletics Canterbury Track & Field Sub-committee has meet and over the next few weeks, a decision will be made as to where track & field meetings will be held next season. This will cause major disruption to not just CMA meetings but at all levels, but we will have a season. However, it may be time that we ask Athletics Canterbury to allow our CMA members to complete at Inter-club meetings without having to be a member of a club, simply to help keep the sport alive.
One of the Centre Sub-committee members, John Mcbrearty had this to say ....
The road from Bower Avenue around to the car park at the north end has been affected by liquefaction and is now reasonably torn up and in parts like a shingle road.
Entry to the main stadium was through the No 2 ground and the IPC warm up track is now all humps, holes and hollows and would make a good BMX bike track. There is liquefaction over much of the track and while there was quite a bit of liquefaction on the grass, it is not as bad as the grass on the in field in the main stadium. The two floodlight poles on the front straight of the No 2 ground both have a good lean on them.
The main stadium track and in field - what a mess! The track is broken up in parts, there are the same humps, holes and hollows and there is a mass of liquefaction. There is a very deep hole in the long jump pit closest to the track at the south end. On the in field, it appears a spring has come out of the ground and there is water lying in places and also going into drains.
From a distance the main grandstand looks okay, but when you get up close there are serious fractures in the concrete particularly around the steps leading up to the glasshouse.
Unfortunately the open grandstand at the north end is in bad shape and no one is allowed to go near it - you can see parts of it are just hanging together. What the future holds for our equipment underneath is unknown at this stage and is something we will need to follow up.
There is some good news - I had a key to the IPC container so we opened it and it appears that only one item had fallen over, so we do have some gear .... but no track!
It was quite sad to see our home since 1973 in such bad shape.
If a pictures tells a 1000 words, these two say it all ... QEII is 'munted'!!
If you would like to look around Christchurch at the damage caused by the earthquake,CLICK HERE for an aerial view of the city. Type the name of a street in the 'Locate' box. You can zoom in or out.