Construction of New Zealand’s largest indoor sports and aquatics facility, Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre, is now expected to be complete in the spring of 2024, with construction sector constraints, challenging ground conditions and regular changes to the construction programme continuing to hamper progress.
Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive, John Bridgman, says it’s disappointing for everyone involved in the project.
“We know people are incredibly eager to ride the hydroslides, play on the indoor courts and move their sport’s HQ into Parakiore, but the contractor hasn’t made enough progress during this challenging period to have the work completed late next year as planned, and has revised its timetable accordingly.
“As the owner of Parakiore, Christchurch City Council will need time to commission the facility. If the build is finished towards the end of 2024 an early 2025 opening would be likely.
“As we did with Te Pae, we will continue to provide updates as the completion date firms up.
“At the start of the project, CPB was forecasting having more than 300 workers on site for this main phase of the build. However, with reduced access to labour for a prolonged period and significant demand for construction workers across the sector, there have been times when getting half that number on the tools has been a challenge.
“Worker numbers are now increasing, which gives us greater confidence in the road ahead.
“With its high water table, this site was always going to be a geographically perfect but geologically tough location to put a 5-metre diving pool down into, and there has been a small amount of subsidence around one of the dewatering wells. It’s an area that’s about 0.6% of the building’s footprint but needs to be remediated with jet grouting. This will also take some additional time and delay some work at the southern end of the pools building.
“While construction will take longer to complete, we have a fixed-price contract with the contractor and any variations beyond the $317m already allocated will be worked through and agreed on with the contractor at a later date, but these won’t prevent us completing this outstanding facility,” says Mr Bridgman.
Council’s funding contribution to Parakiore remains capped.