Science Alive’s Moving into Central Christchurch Underway
Science Alive’s Moving Plans into Central Christchurch Underway
More than six years after earthquakes forced Science Alive to move from the old Railway Station buildings in Moorhouse Avenue, Science Alive is soon to move into their buildings adjoining Victoria Square, located conveniently between the Town Hall and the new Convention Centre site.
The Chair of the Science Alive Charitable Trust, Professor Phil Butler, says “It has been over six years since the closure of the old Science Centre at the Moorhouse Ave site and while we have maintained local outreach programmes and events, it is time that residents and visitors to Christchurch get a chance to enjoy the educational and entertaining environment that a physical centre offers. We have all been waiting a long time for this to happen and are excited about the future of the Trust”.
The new Science Centre will be located in the law library block of the buildings on Durham Street, closest to the Avon River, and directly across from Victoria Square. The Ministry of Justice staff are now in the decanting stage of their move to the Justice Precinct.
The current law library block offers around 1,500 sqm of usable space, as first step to house the different exhibition galleries of the Centre. Butler believes that confirmation of the new home is exciting news and now lays the way for a number of other key decisions to be made regarding the Trust’s future.
The decision also represents an opportunity for other key decisions to be made around the remaining property assets held by the Trusts investment company. Executive Director for SA’s investment company, Mr Tony Mortensen, feels that confirmation of the Centre site now allows the investments company to finalise their plans regarding the remaining building and bare land. “We have already agreed that the Tower Block (which housed the main courts) will be transformed into leasable space for like-minded tenants. There are some amazing spaces of different sizes and layout on offer and we are confident that the right kind of tenants will be secured.
The bare land and the beautiful historic Magistrates Court are excess to our current and future needs and therefore we will be looking at possible sale or lease options in the following month. We have appointed JLL to seek potential interested parties for these property assets with the hope that a final decision on their future will be made soon.
The application for building consent has been lodged with Council and the investments company will be looking to appoint appropriate contractors within the next few months, with construction expected to commence in February next year. With minimal work to be undertaken we are confident that the property will be ready for use soon after that.”