PE’s re­vamped Cam­panile will re­open to pub­lic in July

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Siyam­tanda Capa ca­pas@times­me­dia.co.za

DE­SPITE sev­eral chal­lenges and de­lays due to wet weather, re­vamp con­struc­tion work to the his­toric Cam­panile build­ing in Cen­tral has of­fi­cially been com­pleted.

The tower, which has been un­der­go­ing a ma­jor facelift since May last year, will be open to the pub­lic by the end of July.

While the bells have been chim­ing since last month, mu­sic ex­pert Prof Al­bert Troskie con­firmed and cer­ti­fied on May 11 that they were in fact in tune.

The re­vamp, which has been a Man­dela Bay De­vel­op­ment Agency (MBDA) project, saw the 23 bells – which col­lec­tively weigh 17 tons – re­moved and re­stored last year, with the pub­lic af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to view them.

Ib­hayi Con­struc­tion site man­ager Mark Hamil­ton said they were ba­si­cally done and were com­plet­ing the snag­ging process, which would be fin­ished by Wednesday.

“Dur­ing snag­ging we get the ar­chi­tects and client to come and walk through,” Hamil­ton said. “They see if it’s up to their stan­dard and if there is any­thing they would like to add be­fore the hand­ing over of the build­ing.

“We are now do­ing paint touch-ups, check­ing what is miss­ing and mak­ing ev­ery­thing nice and neat again by clean­ing out all the dust and paint.

“There have been a lot of chal­lenges. This is not a nor­mal con­struc­tion build­ing, and we had to work with the her­itage of the build­ing.

“Ev­ery­thing that was bro­ken we had to re­place to look as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble.”

The Cam­panile – mean­ing bell tower in Ital­ian – and the Port El­iz­a­beth City Hall clock tower will be con­nected us­ing a wire­less in­ter­net mo­dem to ensure their bells do not ring si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

MBDA spokesman Lu­vuyo Bangazi said a se­ries of events would be held lead­ing up to the of­fi­cial open­ing.

“The con­trac­tor is at­tend­ing to fi­nal snags and mi­nor al­ter­ations,” he said.

“The Cam­panile will be open to the pub­lic in July. How­ever ac­tiv­i­ties are planned as the build-up to the main open­ing.”

SPRUCED UP: The re­vamped Cam­panile

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