Stadium roof passes its snow loading test

Malcolm Farry
Malcolm Farry
The Forsyth Barr Stadium's roof behaved "exactly as it was supposed to behave" in recent snowfalls, and was designed for much heavier, Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said yesterday.

That issue, almost a year after the Stadium Southland roof collapsed in a heavy snowfall, and the design and payment for the plaza outside the venue, were some main points of discussion about the project yesterday when the Dunedin City Council finance, strategy and development committee received the 16th report on the venue's progress.

The report included an update on private-sector funding, being raised by the sale of seating products and sponsorship, which Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies said had passed the $43 million mark.

Mr Farry was asked by Cr Colin Weatherall whether the stadium roof had "performed as expected" in the recent snowfall.

"I have received a report and the answer is yes," Mr Farry replied.

He said last night there had been a "routine report" after the cold weather, which said the snow had slid off the roof, as it was supposed to.

"Of course it's been designed to take a much more significant snow load than what we had."

Cr Vandervis asked about the lights at the stadium, which he said were on day and night during the period, and asked whether that was to melt the snow.

Mr Farry described that as "interesting speculation".

Mr Farry said contractors were working "day and night" to finish the project, and testing of the lights was ongoing.

At the meeting, Cr Kate Wilson asked whether councillors could see designs for the plaza area outside the stadium.

"We haven't seen it," she told Mr Farry.

Cr Wilson said despite councillors not having any input into the design, it was "very, very important" the public should see what it was getting.

Mr Farry said last night a "very attractive" design had been completed, which would be made available.

Cr Vandervis also asked about the plaza, and why it had taken so long for cobblestones and tiling tenders to be organised.

Contractors had called him and said the timetable was tight and there were penalties of $3000 a day for lateness.

Mr Farry said he was not aware of the penalty clauses being referred to.

"We are used to tight timetables."

The report to the committee said the plaza area had been handed over to the University of Otago, and construction had started"Cost-sharing between the parties is the key issue for resolution."

Mr Farry said the decision-making process for the area had involved the council, the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and the University of Otago.

"It took some time to get agreement of the final design and costings of the plaza," he said.

"There's a discussion going on about where the costs fall."

Building work was "always under pressure", but would be completed in time for the Rugby World Cup.

"It won't look like a construction site."


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