Sports Centre gets workout

11 May 2009

The slate panels covering the western facade of the Sports Centre on upper campus have, through delamination as well as deterioration of the fixing mechanism, become a hazard to people visiting or passing by the facility. The condition of the slates is monitored and inspected annually by David Elston (Structural) Engineers. Recent collapses of the fixing mechanisms have now necessitated the removal, for inspection purposes, of all 383 panels. These panels can weigh up to 150kg each, a falling hazard that must be avoided at all costs.

The panels will be individually inspected, as well as the exposed facade concrete structure. Opinions of both the engineering?and architectural professionals will be?obtained?for remedial measures?and/or replacement.

Stripping of the panels will commence during the first week of May and could take up to 6 weeks. While the areas of work will be cordoned off, everyone is requested to avoid the area if at all possible and obey the route diversions at all times.

The building was designed and executed by?Roelof Uytenbogaardt, a UCT professor, in?his practice Uytenbogaardt,?Macaskill and Schneider?in 1977, and is a?work that has won awards, and regularly attracts international attention as a masterful work of modern architecture. The 'floating' slate panels are an important element of the design.

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