12 September 2019
Diggers, ‘nibblers’, ‘knuckle-booms’ and scissor-lifts will make for an impressive sight as the last stage of the Soundshell gets underway.
Machinery is now on site removing the north and south wings of the Soundshell building.
Both wings are now clear of Class A asbestos. The central auditorium however may still contain trace levels of asbestos meaning all materials will need to be treated prior to removal. This section of the building will be removed last.
Council’s contractors will be using a number of methods to remove the building structure including using diggers and ‘nibblers’ for the side wings – those machines are on site now. This will then be followed by ‘knuckle-booms’ and scissor-lifts to remove the aluminium sheeting of the auditorium. Once the structure is down to its lower level, the large machinery will return to site to finish the removal.
Class A asbestos removal is a WorkSafe notifiable activity and Council has worked in partnership with WorkSafe to ensure the success of this project.
Safety of the public, staff and contractors has always been Council’s number one priority during this project. The age and nature of the building has meant that this removal process has been significantly more complex, and has required a number of agencies to be involved to ensure the safe removal in line with relevant guidelines and legislation.
Independent asbestos assessors have monitored the site since the project began and will continue to monitor the removal as the structures are removed and cleared from the site.
All going well the removal of the three structures, the auditorium and the north and south wings, will take approximately three weeks. However, ensuring the safe removal of the remaining material will determine the final date of completion.
In 2015 the Soundshell was closed after a number of issues including structural integrity, general disrepair and earthquake proneness, meaning it would be uneconomical to undertake the work required to make the original building safe, as well as bring it up to a useable standard.
Following public consultation, the upgrade of the site was then included in the 2018-2028 Long-Term Plan as part of the Lakefront redevelopment.
Once the building has been fully removed, the concrete slab will be taken away and the ground levelled.