Demolition work on the upper floors and roof of SkyCity’s partly built-but-burnt-out convention center in downtown Auckland is set to begin shortly.
About 200 workers have now assembled on the site of the building and work could begin as soon as Monday to remove damaged material from the roof and other material from the upper levels – floors five six and seven – of the building.
A company specializing in demolition and recycling has been brought in for the job even though full assessments of the building’s services, façade and architecture are still being completed.
A demolition specialist is quoted in local media that the work was one of New Zealand’s biggest deconstruction jobs and would cost millions of dollars and take months.
An enormous fire, thought to have started from a blowtorch, erupted on 22 October last year and burned for several days as more than twenty fire crews battled to contain the blaze which enveloped downtown Auckland in thick smoke, disrupted traffic and closed nearby buildings for over a week.
Fletcher Building, the main contractor for the building of the NZ$700 million (US$460 million), and SkyCity have repeatedly said that the project was fully insured and that they are committed to meeting the deadline of 1 January 2023 to complete the project even though the size of the repair work and the delay caused by the fire have still to be fully quantified.