AfriCoast passes halfway mark on Opera House project

17 February 2015

Civil and structural engineering consultancy firm AfriCoast Consulting Engineers has announced it has passed the halfway mark with the R28-million extension and upgrade of the Port Elizabeth Opera House.

“The project will extend the life of one of the city’s iconic structures for the next century,” said Bill Emslie, COO of AfriCoast Consulting Engineers.

AfriCoast is part of the Matrix Consortium appointed by the PE Opera House for the makeover of the oldest theatre in the southern hemisphere and the only of its kind still operating in Africa.

Tony Danev of the Matrix Consortium said: “The heritage approval was obtained following a rigorous process, including the preparation of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and numerous public participation meetings.

“The project is important to us because we understand how significant the Opera House is for establishing a vibrant inner-city life” said Emslie.

He added that the project has also had interesting challenges for which the AfriCoast team managed to come up with innovative solutions.

“This is sure to be an award winning project on completion which is expected to be during the second quarter of this year,” Emslie concluded.

• The Opera House was built in 1892
• Responsible construction and renovation of a historic building
• Construction of fire escape in accordance to fire regulations
• Over 2000m3 (cubic metres) of rock was broken out and removed during the construction phase.
• Project about 60% completed as of end January 2015

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