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New Aranui youth and community facility another step closer

Wednesday 23 July 2014

New Aranui youth and community facility another step closer

Christchurch City Council has begun demolition of the Aranui Wainoni Family Centre in Hampshire Street, making way for a new youth and community facility to be built on the site.

The demolition of the earthquake-damaged family centre at 31 Hampshire Street is expected to be complete next month. The site will be grassed over until construction of the new facility – which is the Council’s first new community centre to be built since the earthquakes – begins. A number of trees will be removed from the site during the demolition as they are close to the damaged building. New trees will be planted when the new facility is built.

Construction of the new youth and community facility is expected to begin early next year after detailed and developed design work is completed, a contractor is appointed to undertake the construction and consents granted. A total of $5.9 million has been set aside for the facility, including $1 million from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust and $450,000 from Lions Club International Foundation. The new facility will incorporate activity, meeting and office space.

Director Council Facilities and Infrastructure David Adamson says this is an important milestone for the Aranui community.

“We know residents have really missed the family centre since its closure. Before the earthquakes, this place was a key gathering place for young people and their families, whether it was to take part in a rugby league game or kapa haka practice. We’re looking forward to seeing the new, modern facility that will replace the family centre becoming an important community hub again.”

Mr Adamson says the demolition of the family centre will be the first tangible sign of progress residents will see towards their new community centre.

“Residents have already seen and had input into the initial concept design. Over the coming months, we’ll be fine tuning plans for how the facility will look. We’ll continue to talk to residents as the project progresses to make sure the new community centre will meet their needs now, and in the future.”

Lions Project Manager Digby Prosser says the organisation is looking forward to continuing to work with the Council to see the new Aranui Community Centre come to fruition. “Lions are committed to making projects like this happen in east Christchurch because these facilities provide a place for residents to socialise together and take part in activities. There’s also good evidence to show that having places to gather contributes to community wellbeing,” he says.

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