Projects & Works

Civic Theatre Energy Upgrades

Published: 25 Oct 2019 4:16pm

A 130-tonne crane looming large over the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre earlier this week stood out as a beacon of progress alongside the city’s renowned landmark.

The beast was required to assist in a major upgrade of the theatre’s air-conditioning system.

“The crane on site was capable of a 47-metre reach with load of 3 tonne,” Council’s Facilities Management Coordinator Luke Fitzgerald explained.

“The air-conditioning unit installed earlier this week was for the auditorium, particularly important in looking after the public seating space.

“The unit was by far the largest and heaviest installed as part of the Civic Theatre Air-conditioning Upgrade. It weighed just under 3 tonne and required a reach of 42.5 metres to the platform on the roof.”

The project will modernise the theatre’s air-conditioning system by the installation of six new units which was undertaken in two stages; the first 4 units were installed in April.

“This project was carefully planned around the shows scheduled for the theatre to minimise disruption,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“All of the units are now in operation, however there’s a small amount of work still to finish during November.

“To finalise these works one more crane lift will be required in the first week of November.”

Manager Civic Theatre Carissa Campbell welcomed the milestone development, describing the arrival of the new units as another exciting step towards achieving the theatre’s long-term energy efficiency goals.

“Our old system was well and truly on the way out,” she said.

“We were getting to know the air-conditioning repairmen really well… it was definitely time for the whole system to be replaced.

“We’ve gone with an energy efficient system that’s going to produce substantial savings, which is very exciting.”

As well as being better environmentally and economically, Ms Campbell believes the new system will further enhance the overall experience for theatregoers.

“The air-conditioning is one of many enhancements that have been made at the Theatre to make it more comfortable for patrons coming to see a show,” she said.

“With a new balcony, awning and furniture, longer pre-show opening hours at the bar and now a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system to meet our needs, more people are booking functions and events here.

“Others are coming that bit earlier for a show because the theatre offers such a nice environment to be in.”

The air-conditioning upgrade isn’t the only exciting energy efficient development contributing to improving the theatre’s appeal, with the facility’s lighting having a major upgrade.

“We’ve replaced all the stage lights, along with the foyer lights to an LED, energy saving system,” Ms Campbell revealed.

“The LED lights use a fraction of the energy required to power normal theatre lighting, that equates to massive energy savings.”

Ms Campbell LED stage lighting is surging in popularity, with theatres making the switch to reduce maintenance requirements, create a safer working environment and expand array of colours available for use in productions.
“LED lights mean we have access to the whole colour wheel,” Ms Campbell said.

“The lights are also more versatile, giving us more opportunities to wow our audiences.”

Focus will soon shift to the installation of solar panels atop the Civic Theatre roof as part of Council’s wider Solar Project, which will also see systems installed on the Civic Centre and Livestock Marketing Centre Pump House.

“Next year we’ll have our solar panels on and our lights in,” Ms Campbell said.