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Grandstand temporarily closed for earthquake strengthening

Important Message to our Rugby Stakeholders from the WBRU Board and Chief Executive

As of Wednesday 17th January 2018 the grandstand at Memorial Park will be closed for earthquake strengthening until further notice. The full press release is attached below.

Important Questions and Answers

Why has it been closed?

Health and Safety: The initial engineers report shows parts of the grandstand are below the building code in the event of an earthquake, meaning the grandstand needs to be earthquake strengthened.

How long will it be closed for?

Initial estimates are 4 to 6 months for the remedial work to be completed. The target date for re-opening is the end of July.

Is the turf and lights still available?

Yes, there is no issues though we will need to move the players’ boxes to the end of the fields. Player access onto the field will be via the eastern side.

Changing rooms and shower access?

These areas are now closed. Options are being explored with solutions to be in place by the end of February

Organisations which will be affected.

The Referees and the Supporters Club will need to be re-housed. The WBRU will be talking with them over the comings weeks about arrangements.

Access to Memorial Park.

There is full access to Trust House Memorial Park and Marist Rugby Club. There will be “no go zones” signposted around the grandstand area.

Club Finals and Heartland games.

At this stage all indications are that we will be fully operational by then however the WBRU will discuss with a number of clubs about alternative arrangements.

Access to the Grandstand

This will be strictly controlled and permission to enter will be at the sole discretion of the CEO. Any person wanting to access will need to report to the main office at 149 Dixon Street.

Will college and night games be affected?

Along as suitable arrangements have been made for changing rooms and showers there will be no need to move games off the Park.

Is the clubhouse and WBRU offices still open?

Yes – For further information please contact Tony Hargood, Chief Executive of Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union on 0274-738-367

Media Release

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Grandstand temporarily closed for earthquake strengthening

Masterton District Council is confident of a quick turn-around in remediation work that is required on the grandstand at Trust House Memorial Park.

The Sir Brian Lochore Stadium has been closed with immediate effect following an initial structural engineering report which shows that its earthquake rating is below the required standard.

The preliminary results indicate that bracing at the northern end of the grandstand are at a compliance level of 20-25% New Building Standard (NBS), below the legal requirement of 34%.

Early indications suggest the work required to bring the building up to code could take four to six months. In the meantime, the artificial playing turf at the multi-purpose facility will remain open and the 2018 season for both rugby and football will proceed as normal.

Masterton District Council chief executive officer Pim Borren stresses that the closure is temporary and the building “definitely won’t be getting demolished”.

“It is a health and safety issue, and as the building’s owner it is our responsibility that we are not putting people at risk,” Mr Borren says.

Mr Borren says specialist’s advice is that remediation is not going to be all that difficult. Further detailed information is required to determine the exact cost.

“We are looking at a level of mitigation which is such that it will be a no brainer to do this work.”

The grandstand, built in 1963, was officially named the Sir Brian Lochore Stand in 2015 following the $2.1 million redevelopment of the sports facility. Masterton District Council own the buildings, while the Wairarapa Multi Sports Stadium Trust administers the turf, lights and usage.

Memorial Park is home to Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union (WBRU) and also Wairarapa United football.

WBRU chief executive officer Tony Hargood says he fully supports council’s decision with health and safety the priority.

WBRU has a few options to cover any short-term disruptions, Mr Hargood says.

“It will be a challenge but the community has embraced the new facility since it was re-opened in 2015 so I am confident the community will understand any inconvenience over the next few months,” Mr Hargood says.

The temporary closure of the grandstand has forced next month’s Summer Concert to shift to Solway Showgrounds. The popular event, on Friday 9 February, features Kiwi reggae-soul band, The Black Seeds, and hip-hop artist Kings.

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