Slides’ opening delayed

    The new hydroslides at Splash Palace are taking shape but their cost has risen.

    THE opening of Invercargill’s new hydroslides, originally scheduled for last year, has been delayed again and the slides will cost $300,000 more than planned.

    Assembly of the new slides started at the Splash Palace site on Elles Rd a few weeks ago.

    Invercargill City Council aquatic services manager Stephen Cook said because of the challenges posed by Covid-19, the hydroslide redevelopment would cost more.

    “The original budget approved by council was $2.9 million and we have increased it as a result of a contractor variation on the foundations and ground conditions, bringing the total cost to $3.2 million.”

    The project involves the construction of three new hydroslides at the facility shorter body slides coloured green and blue (69m and 79m long, respectively), and an 101m raft slide featuring a large sphere section.

    Earlier last year, a report presented to the council stated the project had a completion date of December 2020.

    However, with the national lockdown, contractors were unable to continue the work on site, meaning the proposed schedule indicating a completion date of mid-January 2021 and a client handover of March 2021 was no longer feasible.

    Mr Cook said council was now aiming for a mid-April opening, but would confirm that by March 22.

    “The foundations were completed earlier in the year, and used more than 230 cubic metres of concrete and 40 tonnes of reinforcing steel.

    “It is a fairly complex project requiring quite a significant amount of infrastructure to be built to hold the weight of the three slides plus allow for the volume of users going up and down.”

    The hydroslide was one of Splash Palace’s most popular facilities but was more than 30 years old and nearing the end of its life, he said.

    The old hydroslide would be in operation until the new one opened.