June start for Wanaka sports facilities
Cook Brothers Construction Ltd is scheduled to start work on Wanaka’s sports facilities next week but a decision on whether to include the pool in stage one of the development has yet to be made.
Cook Brothers employs about 50 people throughout the region and the Wanaka project should provide work for up to a dozen builders and numerous subcontractors over the next year.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council announced last Wednesday it considered three tenders before awarding the $13.9 million project to the Queenstown-based company.
The facilities are scheduled for completion by June next year.
Cook Brothers’ business development manager Simon Glass said builders would move on to the Three Parks site soon and construction should start in June.
Subcontractors had been identified when the job was priced and engagement packages were being finalised, Glass said.
‘‘This is an iconic project for our company. We are also just completing the $12 million terminal extension at Queenstown Airport, so we are used to projects of this size.’’
Glass said the one year time frame was achievable and the company had shown with the airport project that it could stick to a fast-track schedule.
The first jobs would include site works and infrastructure. The steel structure was scheduled to go up mid-to-late August, weather depending.
Stage one includes a sports hall with two full size indoor courts, changing rooms, meeting and office space, multi-sport artificial turf, carparking and landscaping.
The design allows for a swimming pool but the timing of that depends on the council’s 10 Year Plan.
Wanaka Community Board chairwoman Rachel Brown said it was ‘‘fantastic’’ the sports facili- ties project was now underway, after many years of discussions and site planning, and she hoped everyone would embrace it.
Brown conceded the building was hard to visualise at the moment because the Three Parks site is still being developed.
‘‘But when you think about when they were building Mt Aspiring College all those years ago, it seemed it was out in the middle of nowhere . . . Again it seems we are building in the middle of nowhere but it will be amazing to think what it will look like in 20 years’ time,’’ she said.
The council’s preferred option is to build an eight lane lap pool and a learners pool costing an estimated $11.8 million as part of stage one of the Wanaka Sports Facility, with the pools opening in mid-2017.
Whether this happens is still up in the air. At the time of going to print on Tuesday, the council had not finished hearing submissions on the 10 Year Plan in Wanaka. Councillors will vote at its next meeting whether to bring the project forward from 2023.
Hundreds of submissions about the Wanaka pool were received during the 10 Year Plan consultation, with at least 190 for a 2017 completion date and about 60 wanting to defer the project to 2023.
Significantly, the Wanaka Residents Association is submitting the pool should proceed ‘‘as soon as funding allows’’.
This is a shift in the association’s previous position, which was to keep the ‘‘status quo’’ – a 25m six lane pool at Plantation Road – with the addition of a learner’s pool.
Association chairwoman Sally Battson expressed ongoing reservations about the additional costs a new pool will put on ratepayers but said deferring it any longer would ‘‘create ill will and leave the project open to further cost escalation’’.
The majority of respondents to a survey in November indicated they could accept paying an extra $184.00 in rates a year to help fund the pools but the council sought more guidance about the start date in its 10 Year Plan consultation document.
Those wanting completion by 2017 say the present pool has passed its use-by-date and fear construction costs will continue to escalate. Those wanting deferral are concerned about capital and operating costs and the impact of the rates increase. Some have suggested a cap on the rates increase.
The council has identified land which could be sold to help fund the pools and wants a community fundraising campaign launched.
An artist’s impression of the proposed Wanaka Sports Facility.