Sue Wells – The New Canterbury Tales

August 9, 2011

AMI Stadium, Convention Centre, Town Hall #eqnz #chch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sue Wells @ 8:26 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I went inside AMI stadium today. I’m not quite sure when I was there last but I know doors have been locked since February 22.

I know some of the people who were there that day. My friend Fiona, who works for the diplomatic corps, was there with a number of very highly placed US dignitaries when the quake struck. She has stories to tell about how they were evacuated and where they went and where their luggage did and did not go at the same time I was running into town to find my kids.

We can all see the grounds on the outside of the stadium. There the liquefaction mounds are obvious and pronounced. I’ve seen pictures of the turf inside the stadium before, but until today I didn’t realise that the patchwork holes across the pitch are human formed, inspection holes to look at the drainage systems.

We the Council and our insurers have yet to make calls around the full future of the complex.

The Council engineers are recommending the demolition of the Hadlee stand.

The other three stands would need complex repair work if they can be fixed at all.

Recommendations should be at the council within the next couple of months (I add a grain of salt to that and call it discussions with the insurers).

I’ve driven past the Convention Centre. I won’t be going in it. Nobody will. Engineers are telling us that the roof structures are not in good shape and that there will be no internal inspections – they are recommending its demolition.

Our insurers are yet to agree to that but we are discussing things with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Perhaps the saddest news of all is the uncertainty around our Christchurch Town Hall. A group one listed heritage building, it sits on the Avon River bank.

That complex has three buildings near Kilmore Street, one near the river bank. The latter has moved about 100mm away from the others and is sliding closer to the river. The others have suffered badly from liquefaction. They have reshaped to match the contours of the land. Whether they can be saved is not yet known. It is not just a matter for insurers and the council, it is also a question of whether repairs will impact on the very heritage fabric that we would be hoping to save.

What a day.

Jendy Harper and I sat on the top stand today and reminisced about the various things we’d attended at the stadium. As we sat there, we noticed the clock on the western side of the Hadlee Stand stopped at 12.51, and the flagpole on the eastern side pointing aimlessly to half past something.

I don’t know yet what the future holds for AMI stadium.

I know for sure that underneath it lies Lancaster Park.

Some things never change.

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