Work likely to be­gin pre- Xmas

Hastings Leader - - News -

Work on the con­struc­tion of the new fully en­closed Plaza build­ing is to start be­fore Christ­mas, with the fi­nal de­sign now com­pleted and all con­sents close to be­ing granted.

The Plaza was closed in De­cem­ber last year in prepa­ra­tion for the re­build tak­ing place along­side the Hawke’s Bay Opera House Theatre earth­quake strength­en­ing pro­gramme.

Work on the Plaza was then de­layed with coun­cil re­quest­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the roof de­sign and op­tions around lim­it­ing in­ter­nal gut­ter­ing.

Group man­ager com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties and pro­grammes Ali­son Banks says coun­cil­lors were de­ter­mined to en­sure the re­build would en­sure a qual­ity, multi-pur­pose, acous­ti­callysound fa­cil­ity that would com­ple­ment the wider precinct.

The new de­sign for the Plaza will cre­ate a dy­namic, con­tem­po­rary, ver­sa­tile space that can be used all year round, in all weath­ers, with the re­place­ment of the can­vas cover roof with a new per­ma­nent roof.

The changes re­sulted from feed­back gath­ered through a con­sul­ta­tion process held in 2016, af­ter which the Hast­ings District Coun­cil ap­proved plans to re­place the roof, as well as re­con­fig­ure the re­cessed floor to make it level, and re­place the glass front wall with dou­bleglaz­ing.

In Fe­bru­ary this year the eight etched glass pan­els along the front of the build­ing, cre­ated by artist Camp­bell Gor­don and spon­sored by project sup­port­ers, were re­moved and stored for re­in­state­ment within the Opera House precinct.

This is an­other mile­stone for the en­tire Opera House precinct earth­quake strength­en­ing and re­fur­bish­ment project that started in 2016. Coun­cil’s Opera House and arts precinct com­mit­tee chair Mal­colm Dixon says the com­mit­tee and other coun­cil­lors were de­ter­mined to leave no stone un­turned to en­sure they got it right.

“The Plaza has huge po­ten­tial and now has the ca­pac­ity and the de­sign to meet the needs of ev­ery­one out there look­ing for a high qual­ity venue.

“We can’t wait for it to be re­opened this time next year.”

An artist’s im­pres­sion of how the ex­te­rior of the Plaza build­ing will look af­ter it’s up­graded.

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