Initial groundworks to replace the 65-year-old seating at Caroline Bay’s iconic Soundshell will begin today, prior to demolition work in early February, Timaru District Council has announced.
Thompsons Engineering has been awarded the contract to demolish and rebuild the seating, with work set to begin on 1 February.
Works to prepare the site will get underway today, with the removal of two of the three English Elm trees directly behind the site.
General Manager Commercial and Strategy, Steve McKnight said that while the overall aim had been to retain the trees, professional advice was that the structural strength of them had been compromised.
“As part of the demolition and reconstruction of the bleachers they would need to be pruned back so significantly that they would very likely fall in wind, causing a significant safety risk, so we had to make the difficult decision to remove them,” he said.
“We’ve managed to ensure that one of the trees will not be affected and will remain.”
The next stage of the project will see the current Soundshell seating fenced off from 14 January to enable the deconstruction and removal of the temporary support structure underneath the seats.
More details of the project will be released as it progresses, Mr McKnight said.
It’s hoped the venue’s new seating will be in place in time for the 2022/23 carnival.