Work to begin at Rugby Park

Progress is being made towards the removal of toxic mould at Rugby Park, despite delays due to structural concerns and the COVID-19 lockdown.

In February, Invercargill City Council resolved to undertake work to remove the mould, retest the environment, and complete restoration work, which would enable Rugby Southland staff and Rugby Southland Supporters Club to use the facility again.

Chief Executive Clare Hadley said work had not yet been able to begin because of safety concerns relating to the bleachers above the space.

“Questions were raised by structural engineering firm Kensington Consulting about the safety of contractors working beneath the bleachers. It was confirmed that working under the building should be for short periods of time only to minimise risk, and that bracing would preferably be installed.”

Delays due to these concerns, and the COVID-19 lockdown, meant progress on establishing a safe work site could not be made until mid-May, Mrs Hadley said.

“We have since engaged an engineering firm to fabricate temporary steel bracing, which will enable decontamination specialists to safely enter the area and undertake the work required.”

Mrs Hadley said the Supporters Club had been kept up-to-date throughout the process.

“The bracing will be installed later this month, and the mould is expected to be removed in the first week of August. Samples will then be sent for testing, and if results are favourable, it is hoped the rooms may be occupied once more by the end of August.”

It was important to note that due to the structural concerns relating to the west stand bleachers, these would remain off-limits to the public.

The temporary steel bracing was to enable access for the mould removal and remediation work, and public access on the bleachers would overload the bracing system, Mrs Hadley said.

It is anticipated that these works will cost approximately $100,000.