Stand demolition on track as asbestos fears allayed

STAFF REPORTERS
The discovery of asbestos on some sections of woodwork in the McKenzie Stand had only briefly delayed the demolition job and full safety procedures had been followed, Mainzeal site boss Callum Harby said today.
A Napier South resident neighbouring McLean Park calledHawke's Bay Today to say he had seen a sign placed near the foot of steps leading up into the stand declaring "Asbestos - Keep Out".
The man was concerned demolition was being carried out in strong winds, and questioned what form the asbestos took and whether it had been contained.
Mr Harby said the asbestos had been found on old water-proofed membranes on the wooden covered seating.
But he said it was minor and all necessary precautions had been taken, including dampening the sections down and coveringareas.
Department of Labour inspectors had looked over the site and given it the all-clear.
The historic 1250-seat stand, built in the late 1920s and later named after former Hawke's Bay rugby coach Norman McKenzie, is being pulled down to make way for the new 3500-seat Graham Lowe stand.
Mr Harby said the work was on track with all the timber seating removed, half the iron cladding gone, and the interior walls pulled down.
He said it was not a straightforward demolition job because there was a large amount of material which could be salvaged and recycled.
The mystery of what, if anything, is stored inside an old ground safe discovered in the concrete floor of the stand would not be solved for a week or so yet.
The safe is well encased in the foundations and can not be removed until the surroundings are pulled out.
The new stand will add to improved lighting through the installation of two new light towers and the raising of one existing tower, and will set McLean Park up as a prime candidate for 2011 Rugby World Cup action.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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