Stage 2 of the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade coming in ahead of schedule. 19 June 2019 Contractors Dempsey Wood, and other local sub-contractors have done it again, pulling off an amazing job - with the date for completing Stage 2 of the Town Centre upgrade being one week ahead of schedule. The official celebration ceremony will be 11am, Saturday 13 July at The Esplanade playground, which has been part of Stage 2 of the upgrade. There will be a free sausage sizzle and ice creams for the kids, thanks to Coromandel's More FM. Nearly all of the new playground equipment has been installed and the water play area is completed. Our contractors Dempsey Wood are just finishing off the new play boat and started filling the sand pit area with sand. The official name of the play boat will be revealed in time for the celebrations. The landscaping works around the playground is continuing with planting of the ready-lawn grass, along with trees and shrubs, while the timber boundary fencing around the playground is now in.The finishing touches is installing seats at the trailer park area along with boulder boundaries. Further down the road the concrete footpaths have been poured, with the focus now turning to restoring driveway and pedestrian access to properties and businesses. There is still some drilling going on along The Esplanade, to install a power pillar for the playground streetlights power supply. Meanwhile, up at the plaza on Taylor's Mistake, Dempsey Wood have finished pouring the concrete path and have tidied up the reserve with clean topsoil. The first piece of public art has also been installed at the top of Taylor's Mistake, looking out to Albert St. The Coromandel tonanite 'granite' sculpture, sitting on a stainless steel plinth was made by local artist Jocelyn Pratt and is called "Transit," as representative of the witnessing of the Transit of Mercury by Captain Cook back in 1769. Jocelyn lives in Tapu and has completed many pieces in our district. She also has art showcased in Vietnam, Argentina, Romania and recently in America. Jocelyn has been involved in this town centre project from the beginning, sourcing the stone, right through to installation on site. Many hours are involved in producing a piece like this, from the extraction of the rock, forming the shape, cutting and shaping. then grinding and sanding down to the final polishing of the finished piece. The large circular shapes are representative of the sun, with the smaller shape a -depiction of Mercury in its transition across the sun - as witnessed in Mercury Bay 250 years ago. The hole in the shape aligns with the length of the path to the waterfront, creates a link to The Esplanade and complements the next sculpture being produced by Kuaotunu artist Chris Charteris, which will be erected in the coming weeks at the opposite end of Taylors Mistake. The foundations for both pieces have been designed by structural engineers. Joceyln's piece is supported by large diameter stainless steel rods embedded into the art work, along with a base that is earthquake compliant. "Even though this art is well supported and stable we would ask the public not climb on these sculptures," says Andrew Scobie, our Council's project manager. For more information on the town centre upgrade visit the project page. Explore the Coromandel whileWhitianga Marina take care of your vessel Each week we catch up with local businesses affected by the town centre upgrade. This week, we spoke to Dave Munday, manager of the Whitianga Marina. The popular Whitianga Marina is located along The Esplanade in sheltered, calm waters and close to all the necessities, such as local attractions, banks, cafes, restaurants and hotels. Whitianga has some of the best diving and fishing spots in the country, and Whitianga marina has professional, friendly and experienced staff who can help with vessel maintenance or long-term storage. Whitianga Marina has six piers, 191 berths ranging in size from 10 to 18 metres. There facilities also include boat storage in secure yards, a secure trailer park and boat ramp restricted to members only. They offer overnight stays with a number of services available to use. "We have two new sheds that people can hire for haul-out and our experienced staff will take the best possible care of you and your boat," says Dave. A further 29 new berths are being developed as there is currently only limited berths available. For more information click here or get in touch with Dave Munday: firstname.lastname@example.org Parking on Victoria Street, Isabella Street and Blacksmith Lane Roading alignment on Victoria Street, Isabella Street and Blacksmith Lane starts next week. In Blacksmith Lane we will realign the perpendicular parking to angled parking to improve access. In Isabella Street we will remove the grass verge to provide additional parking and in Victoria Street we are realigning the footpath to allow angled additional parking, allowing a wider traffic lane behind the library, where the road is currently very narrow. There will be traffic management in place which includes closing a section of Victoria Street during this phase of work. Robinson Road boat ramp Work on the Robinson Road boat ramp continues this week. The site has been audited for environmental compliance with good results from the controls in place. The lowest section of the ramp, below low tide level, has been poured and the new precast wall sections are being installed, between the old ramp and the new ramp profile. The timber delineation piles have been installed. Next week our contractors will continue with pouring the wall foundations before removing the sheet piling and demobilising the crawler crane. Then they will be in a position to continue with the ramp sections above the low water level towards the reserve. Thanks to all the neighbouring property owners and local ramp users for their patience during the build process.