Preparations for the construction of the Waikato Regional Theatre are well advanced.
At the end of July, Ross Hargood of the Waikato Regional Property Trust and Leonard Gardner of Foster Group signed the Theatre’s Construction Contract.
Ben Royfee was then appointed Site Manager for Fosters, joining Graeme Ward at RDT Pacific and Tim Strawbridge at Fosters, the respective firms’ Project Managers who have already been working on the project for some time.
Since then, the preparatory steps required by the resource consent have been steadily progressing, most notably engagement with the neighbours has stepped up with building surveys, meetings and the start of regular email updates.
In early August the large trees on the riverside of the site were taken down, the first actual site work for the Theatre.
An initial Site Blessing Ceremony was then planned for Friday 20 August, but this was of course cancelled by the Lockdown coming into force a couple of days beforehand. Ross spoke to the Waikato Times at the time, confirming that the latest Lockdown was not going to slow progress on the build.
The intention has always been to hold a larger Sod-Turning Ceremony as the main event marking the start of Theatre construction in October or November, so the Blessing will now be folded into that.
The exact date for that key event, which is being coordinated with local and central government, is yet to be confirmed, but it is sure to receive media coverage when it happens, so look out for it.
What is confirmed is that fencing will start to go up around the site on Monday 11 October, which will be the first major sign on the street-front that physical works are getting underway.
The Sod Turning will also mark the launch of our Share the Stage fundraising and community building campaign for the Theatre – expect some fun stuff in the months ahead!