By DAVID HILL
Anticipation is growing as North Canterbury’s new stadium is set to open in July.
The North Canterbury Sport and Recreation Trust will be responsible for the day-to-day running of MainPower Stadium, and chief executive Michael Sharp cannot wait to move in.
“It’s a pretty special project. The building looks amazing and we are stoked to be looking after it on behalf of the community.
“We’re so close, but there’s a lot of work still to be done.”
MainPower Stadium will be one of the largest community facilities in the South Island, with four indoor courts, a fitness facility, changing rooms, coaching, meeting spaces and seating for 500.
It will be unique in catering for all ages, from babies to over-60s classes, Mr Sharp says.
Staff recruitment is under way and fundraising is continuing in earnest, with the trust having committed to raising $1 million with the community towards the final fitout and running costs.
“There’s still a long way to go. We’re hoping to raise $2million and we’ve had fantastic support from the community so far. It will allow us to fund the extra fitouts and things we need to make it the best facility we can.
“We’ve been grateful for the support from Lotteries, the Rata Foundation, MainPower and other local organisations.”
Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon is also excited over the new facility. “I’ve visited a number of times and have been impressed to see the progress and the quality of the work, and attention to detail of the contractor Leighs Construction.
“The North Canterbury Sport and Recreation Trust is working hard to make sure everything is ready for the opening. I understand the stadium is already well booked, which is fantastic.”
The main court area is largely complete. Interior tiling, electrical, plumbing and painting work are well under way, while the plywood lining in the corridor and meeting rooms is largely completed.
Exterior cladding is mostly done, while beech timber soffit panelling is being installed and the eastern car park is taking shape.
Attention now turns to the painting, interior fit-out and signage.
The trust is still looking for gold, silver, bronze, and legacy sponsors. Legacy sponsorship allows families to make a donation of $1000 and to have their family name recorded on the legacy board.