Shipping delays hold up construction of $35.7m Hornby centre

Construction is ready to start at the site on the corner of Waterloo and Smarts Rds. Photo: Geoff...
Construction is ready to start at the site on the corner of Waterloo and Smarts Rds. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Shipping delays have held up construction of the new $35.7 million community centre in Hornby.

Work on the centre at the corner of Waterloo and Smarts Rds was set to start this month, but is now expected to begin in late October.

The delay is due to pandemic-related shipping issues, with 418 tonnes of essential steel, earmarked for the Kyle Park centre, still sitting on a ship near Taiwan.

The centre's opening date has also been pushed back to early 2023 as a result.

The confirmation of a building contractor was also delayed, with Naylor Love Canterbury only confirmed last week, in spite of earlier expectations a contractor would be named at the start of August.

Christchurch City Council head of recreation, sports and events Nigel Cox said it took longer than expected to agree on the fixed price of a lump sum contract.

“We now have an agreement that mitigates the risk of price escalation for the Christchurch City Council,” Cox said.

The budget for the build has not changed, the council confirmed.

Cox said the start of the build depends on the arrival of 147 18m-long steel piles, which weigh in at 158kg per metre.

The Hornby centre will have a library and pool. Photo: Supplied
The Hornby centre will have a library and pool. Photo: Supplied
The city council ordered them in early May, but they have been held up by Covid-19 pandemic-related shipping changes.

“This delay is typical of the current global supply and shipping challenges facing the construction sector,” Cox said.

He understood the piles were loaded onto a ship in Taiwan last week.

Earthworks were completed at the site over winter, and Naylor Love Canterbury would be able to "hit the ground running", Cox said.

Examples of the construction company’s work include the EA Networks Centre in Ashburton, the Selwyn Aquatic Centre in Rolleston, the Ballantynes redevelopment and the Spark Square building.

“I am sure many in the community will watch progress on the building with great interest,” Cox said.

A range of community and recreational spaces will be accommodated within the 3600sq m centre, including a library, a creative activities room, a lane pool, a learn-to-swim pool, a toddlers’ wet play area, a spa pool and a customer services zone.

The new Hornby centre would be a “fantastic asset” for the community, Cox said.

The city council is currently seeking feedback on the facilities and programmes people would like the centre to offer.

Submissions are open until October 1.

Greater Hornby Residents Association chairman Marc Duff said people need to be patient about delays during the pandemic.

“It just means we’re going to enjoy (the centre) more,” Duff said.

“I’m appreciative negotiations take time, if it gets a better deal [and] leads to savings, that’s awesome.”


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