Historic Claudelands Grandstand on the move


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6 March 2008

The first tangible works in the development of a new landmark facility at Claudelands Events Centre will begin this month as the historic Claudelands Grandstand is set to be relocated east.

Council went through the Contract Sub-committee process to obtain approval for the $1.5m relocation project and gained resource consent in September 2007. Council has contracted specialist heritage architects, Smith Pickering as architectural consultants and project manager.

A three-week work programme began yesterday [3 March] to strengthen the structure of the grandstand for relocation simultaneous to site preparation at the grandstand's new location east of the Claudelands Oval. The new location has been selected to enable the grandstand to take maximum advantage of key components in the Claudelands re-development.

Physical relocation of the grandstand is forecast to take place in the week beginning 4 April 2008 upon completion of the site preparation works. The grandstand will be moved 500m by specialist heritage removalist Johnsons House Removals from its current position, around the Claudelands Oval to the centre of Claudelands Park adjacent to the playground with seating facing the Oval.

In planning and determining the grandstand relocation, Council has consulted with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and Waikato Historical Society plus having engaged the Waikato Show Trust in discussions.

Event Facilities manager Mark Christie says the relocation of Claudelands Grandstand is a milestone in the landmark Claudelands redevelopment project.

"Preserving the heritage of the Claudelands site is key component of the re-development project and as one of the city's most prominent and recognised heritage buildings, the Claudelands Grandstand is a significant feature of the work plan.

"Building on its rich history, the grandstand will become an even more valuable resource in the redeveloped Claudelands Events Centre and the Hamilton community. In its new position, the grandstand will take advantage of Oval activities and connect to the children's playground and Claudelands Park. Its move will give us additional public space for enjoyment and allow us to develop a vibrant heritage hub on-site. The grandstand will be refurbished over time in keeping with its historic significance."

This is not the first move Claudelands Grandstand has experienced. Built in Cambridge in 1879 as a grandstand and offices for the Cambridge Jockey Club, the grandstand was dismantled in 1886, moved by rail to Hamilton and re-erected at Claudelands where it provided seating for attendees of South Auckland Racing Club race meets then later for Waikato Racing Club and Waikato Trotting Club meets together with the Waikato A&P Show.

NAME: Mark Christie
DESIGNATION: Event Facilities Manager
TEL (DIRECT): 07 958 5801
MOBILE: 021 775 607
FAX (DIRECT): 07 958 5815
NAME: Naomi Cox
DESIGNATION: Communication Executive
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6726
MOBILE: 027 413 3448
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6761
Page reviewed: 06 Mar 2008 12:00am