The Fletcher Construction Co Ltd said yesterday it would begin major construction work on the NZ International Convention Centre in downtown Auckland “mid-year”. Recovery from last October’s fire will continue for the next few months before major work can begin.
Fletcher Construction chief executive Peter Reidy said damage caused by the fire in the near-complete convention centre had been extremely complex to deal with and simply preparing for the rebuild had taken months of work.
“The damage we found inside the building was significant.
“The fire has affected secondary steel that supports the roof and holds up key elements of equipment. Areas of the façade adjacent to the roof may need to be replaced. If this is the case, it will require a 12-14-month work programme by the specialist glass manufacturer who is in the United States.
“There has been extensive water damage throughout the building which, combined with the summer heat, has created conditions for mould. That requires the replacement of many of the services & fittings that were installed and has restricted normal access to the site.
“We also need to clean residues from the fire from large parts of the building.
“Our goal from the outset was to look at what can be achieved in time for APEC (the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation conference which was to be held at the downtown Auckland centre next year) – how could the convention centre support the Government over this period?
“We threw everything at this challenge and brought in ideas from across the industry. We have met with MFAT (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade) and it is clear that the APEC venue must be completed for the highest level of security reviews & clearances by mid-2021.
“The fire & water damage that we have found, and the long-lead product we need to source from overseas, makes completion by that date highly unlikely.
“We are going to commit significant resources to the project, however, and will keep all of our stakeholders updated on our progress throughout 2020.
“We, like our client SkyCity, are disappointed that the damage the fire caused has made this challenge so difficult, but we are working closely together and with insurers to deliver a world-class venue for New Zealand.”
Related story today: SkyCity takes $241 million hit from fire
Attribution: Fletcher Construction.