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Historic community facilities one step closer to re-opening

Thursday 15 March 2012

Historic community facilities one step closer to re-opening

Christchurch City Council has today given approval for earthquake repairs and strengthening to go ahead at two key historic community facilities in the city’s eastern suburbs.

Following today’s approval under the Council’s Facilities Rebuild Plan project, applications for building consents will now be lodged for the required work on Avebury House (also known as Avebury Park Residence) in Richmond and the Linwood Community Arts Centre. Depending on the length of the consenting process, work is expected to begin on both facilities in May.

Avebury House is used as a community centre and for functions such as weddings. It was moderately damaged in the September 2010 earthquake and suffered further damage in last year’s February earthquake. The Council will spend $43,174 towards the cost of repairs above insurance and strengthening the building to 100 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

Linwood Community Arts Centre is listed in the City Plan as a Group 1 heritage building and registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category II Historic Place. Repairing the building will allow it to continue as a meeting place and a centre for arts in the Linwood community. It is also a key part of the Stanmore Road shopping precinct.

The building suffered some damage in the September 2010 earthquake, but was severely impacted by the February 2011 earthquake. The Council will fund $35, 994 above insurance towards the cost of repairs and strengthening. When the work is finished, the centre will be strengthened to 90 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

A building which is under 34 per cent of the NBS is considered to be earthquake-prone and the Council has set a minimum of 67 percent of NBS for all of the buildings it owns.

General Manager Community Services and Facilities Rebuild Plan Project Sponsor Michael Aitken says, “We know that many community groups have been struggling to find suitable meeting places following the earthquakes. This is good news, especially for the hard-hit eastern suburbs.”

Mayor Bob Parker says he is delighted two important community facilities will be able to operate once more. “These buildings are not just important meeting places, they are also a precious reminder of days gone by. The closure of Linwood Community Arts Centre due to earthquake damage was certainly a huge blow to the Linwood community so it is wonderful that there is now some clarity around the future of this building. Similarly, Avebury House is a significant historical landmark and I know many people will be pleased to see it re-open.”

The Facilities Rebuild Plan project provides a framework for future decision making about the Council’s 1600 facilities following the earthquakes that have occurred in the region since September 2010. For more information, visit www.ccc.govt.nz/facilitiesrebuild

ENDS

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