Gibbons chief operations officer, Shane Trench, left, with Gibbons construction manager Daniel Labes. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Trafalgar Centre to open in nine months

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Getting the doors to the refurbished Trafalgar Centre open by the February 2016 deadline will be the “single biggest challenge” for newly-appointed contractor, Gibbons Construction.

Gibbons, along with Downer, have been awarded the contract to bring the city’s major events centre up to standard, after it was closed in late 2013.

Gibbons’ chief operations officer, Shane Trench, says he’s pleased they’ve been appointed early in the design process, but admits getting the centre open on time will be the “single biggest challenge”.

“It obviously depends a little bit on the design. But Downer and Gibbons bring two heavily-resourced companies to the table, which means that if we need to, we can ramp up the project and accelerate it to ensure we get there for February.”

The council closed the Trafalgar Centre in December 2013 on advice that the building’s low earthquake ratings could leave it liable in the event of a major quake.

The first design work for the centre is due in July.

Shane says Gibbons were thrilled to be picked from the tender process because the project is of “huge significance” to the region.

Nelson mayor Rachel Reese says she was pleased a local firm was awarded the contract.

“We have real construction talent in our city and it’s good to see a local firm competing and winning a tender in competition with major New Zealand and international firms.”