A multi-million-dollar civic centre constructed from prefabricated steel sections manufactured 5,000 miles away in Dorset is set to open in the heart of Belize City.
Christchurch-based REIDsteel has performed the structural design, detailing and fabrication, including the cladding and glazing, for the landmark project in the Central American country.
The Belize Civic Center, costing $32.9m Belize Dollars (£12.7m), is due to be officially opened early this year.
It includes an air-conditioned arena with a seating capacity of 4,500 for sports and entertainment. The complex also features international standard basketball and volleyball courts, practice courts, offices, media boxes, changing rooms, parking and a deck area for boats to dock.
Steel construction company REIDsteel has the capability to design, manufacture, ship and erect entire steel buildings including their cladding and or glazing requirements anywhere in the UK, Europe and the world.
REIDsteel project engineer Pepe Oliva said: “There has been tremendous interest in Belize about the new national civic centre.
“It is possibly the largest public construction project in the country’s history. Although we have designed, made and supplied many buildings in this part of the world, it is still incredibly rewarding to deliver a project of this magnitude on time and on budget to the client’s satisfaction.”
He added: “Like most of our buildings in Central America and the Caribbean, the Belize Civic Center has been designed to withstand hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“We hope it will serve the people of Belize, and be a source of civic pride, for many years to come.”
REIDsteel, which employs 130 people, carried out the structural design, drawing and fabrication in Christchurch, Dorset, before containerising the finished structure for shipping to its destination.
The structurally optimized steel frame included hot rolled sections hot dip galvanized for protection from the elements and for ease of maintenance, all designed for hurricane wind speeds of 160 miles per hour.
A total of 750 tonnes of steelwork was required for the 39,000 sq ft complex, including a roofing system spanning 200 feet, together with all the terraces for approximately 4500 seats and all the suspended floors consisting of galvanized composite metal decking system suitable for cast-in-situ concrete.
The glazing package including curtain walling and aluminium framed windows were also packed for export and shipped to Belize.
The Government of Belize has funded the sports centre project. Project oversight and supervision has been undertaken by Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) and the project was designed by architects at International Environments (IE) Ltd.
The construction was undertaken by Joint Venture Medina’s Construction Limited and International Environments Ltd
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and BIL welcomed the public and media at an open day at the centre recently. It will officially open after a maintenance contract is awarded.
REIDSteel has built stadiums, auditoriums and complexes worldwide, including football, cricket and motorsport arenas.
It has the capacity to design, make and build all elements of stadia from the frame to gangways, entrances, exits, tunnels, terracing, seating, sliding roofs, corporate hospitality boxes and balconies.
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