Southern Field Days Event Centre build 7-day-a-week affair

Checking out progress on the Southern Field Days Event Centre are (from left) committee chairman Mark Dillon and committee members Stan MacGibbon and Justine Dillon. The multipurpose event centre is expected to be completed by Christmas. Photo by Yvonne O'Hara.
Checking out progress on the Southern Field Days Event Centre are (from left) committee chairman Mark Dillon and committee members Stan MacGibbon and Justine Dillon. The multipurpose event centre is expected to be completed by Christmas. Photo by Yvonne O'Hara.
The 0.5ha-sized Southern Field Days Event Centre being constructed at the Waimumu site is expected to be completed by Christmas, project co-ordinator and SFD committee member Stan MacGibbon says.

The foundations were laid early last month and the contractors were working seven days a week to complete the building, he said.

Mr MacGibbon said the multipurpose 100m-by-50m (.5ha) clear-span building would hold up to 6000 people and during the field days could house 180 small stallholders, up from the 120 that were usually housed in hired marquees.

Invercargill's stadium is licensed for 5000 people. The event centre would be a significant asset for Gore and would be available for hire after the field days next year, Mr MacGibbon said. ''We used to hire big marquees but their availability is not that great.''

The saving made by not hiring the marquees was close to covering the interest on the $1.5 million construction cost.

''We have not worked out payback yet,'' Mr MacGibbon said.

Chairman Mark Dillon said the project was initially budgeted for $1.5 million, but the final cost was likely to be less than that as the committee decided to install a heat detection system rather than the planned sprinkler system, which would have required ongoing maintenance and compliance costs.

A one million-litre storage pond had to be included in the plans, for firefighting use.

The centre would have a gravel floor, which would make it more user-friendly for agricultural, livestock and industry events, and temporary flooring could be laid for other functions.

It would have wide laneways for easy access, and each stall site would have power.

The event centre is being built by Chris Broadhead Construction Timaru and project-managed by Stacey Hansen.

Southern Field Days will run from February 12 to 14.