Kazan circus with horses: major overhaul’s price exceeds half a billion

The long-awaited performance in the Kazan State Circus is to be in March-April

Kazan circus with horses: major overhaul’s price exceeds half a billion Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Little time left to the opening of the updated famous building of the circus that became a symbol of Kazan. Director of the circus Damir Sharifullin and head of the building site Mikhail Seleznyov showed what had changed. Realnoe Vremya tells why the facility's commissioning dragged on and what works added during construction.

''Everything is almost 100% ready''

The major overhaul of the circus started in summer 2017 and is planned to complete till the end of the year. Initially, they're speaking about updating the main building, the cupola, what director of the Kazan State Circus Damir Sharifullin mentioned. But it became known later that the whole complex on the Millennium Square needed a major overhaul. In addition, the circus school is also part of it.

''The commissioning date dragged on due to an additional job. We wanted to repair everything till the curtain first, and that's it. Why didn't we include everything from the beginning? We didn't think. Of course, there was a plenty of work, but it didn't become cheaper,'' director of the Kazan State Circus Damir Sharifullin explained.

Initially, a total of 530,28 million rubles was mentioned that was to be spent to repair the roof, get façade finish. The sum of the given money grew, but the director of the circus didn't say how much. The building is almost ready. But it will be able to show the first performances not earlier than March-April 2018. The reason is because the works of the second stage are underway now – the cages, dressing rooms, circus school are updated. It was decided to complete the complex with all rooms on one day. The territory around the circus will be improved by summer. The director of the construction site specified they give a 5-year guarantee for all work.

The commissioning date dragged on due to an additional job, Sharifullin explained

''Everything is almost ready, but the music and lighting equipment hasn't been installed. It exists, in general. But it's not everything, there will be moments that will additionally adorn the arena. As for the hall, the foyer, everything is almost 100% ready. There is a lot of work to be done behind the curtains. We will finish off in March-April, the first performances will begin,'' Damir Sharifullin promised.

The building is an architectural landmark. So designers' novelties aren't approved. ''We don't have the right to destroy the integrity of the whole facility, so there aren't big changes, only the decor has changed,'' the circus director noted.

Restored floor coverings that people stepped on as early as the late 60s, the general concept of the corridor makes the circus recognisable. But everything has been decorated in a different way – the trading and bar zones have been divided, new signs have been covered with special bright anti-vandal paint. Toilets that spectators had complained about the most in the last years before the major overhaul deserve special attention. The sanitary facilities have been substituted for new ones, low sinks for kids have appeared.

''Over 200 people worked per shift on average. We've changed engineering systems: heating, plumbing, low current systems, electric mains, air conditioning have appeared, the wardrobe has been substituted. A lot of attention has been paid to the finish, the floor has been restored, the ceiling construction has been substituted, the cover has also changed outside, the architectural lighting has been added,'' director of the site Mikhail Seleznyov explained.

The general concept of the corridor has remained, but the design is new

The external coverage of the cupola is meeting the latest requirements now. For instance, UV rays won't destroy it now and leakages during rain are excluded. In addition, the façade has new lighting equipment where all ads will be transmitted.

Tickets not to rise in price

By the end of the New Year holidays, after a video of the arena of the restored circus appeared in social networks, users immediately started to ask whether ticket prices would rise because of the major overhaul.

''The prices will remain the same – from 500 to 1,300 rubles,'' the director of the Kazan circus assured.

Many people will probably want to sit in new armchairs, which, by the way, are black and grey and, most importantly, soft. The administration of the circus is already having negotiations with collectives who could perform and who are worth being invited. There are different options for the opening. But Damir Sharifullin didn't tell which one. Now it's clear that Kazan artists – both beginners and more experienced – will certainly take part in the opening ceremony.

They will perform in the new arena – the covering was completely taken off till the foundation when the overhaul began. Now it will be as it should be. For instance, there is a piste – a special path for horses on the border of the arena.

The fire alarm system has changed – the doors have been expanded, the evacuation plan has been thought out, all material has been covered with a special anti-fire compound. The major overhaul hasn't affected the capacity, it is still about 2,050 seats and 40 VIP seats.

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By Yuliya Kosolapkina. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov