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Committee approves full restoration of Town Hall

Friday 23 August 2013

Committee approves full restoration of Town Hall

Christchurch City Council’s Community, Recreation and Culture Committee today (Friday 23 August) unanimously agreed the Christchurch Town Hall should be fully restored.

It also confirmed the Performing Arts precinct project, which the Council will lead, will include the fully restored Town Hall, a new Court Theatre and homes for the Music Centre of Christchurch and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO). The committee also agreed that work should continue to define the Precinct.

The Council has budgeted a total of $158 million, including the restoration of the Town Hall, in total for this wider Performing Arts Precinct project. The restoration of the Town Hall is expected to cost $127.5 million, with the remainder allocated to new facilities for the Court Theatre, Music Centre and CSO. The committee today also agreed to separate the budgets for the Town Hall restoration and the other Performing Arts facilities, ring-fencing $30 million for the Music Centre, Court Theatre and CSO buildings.

The committee will now make these recommendations to the full Council next Thursday, 29 August.

Committee Chair Yani Johanson says it is important that the historic Town Hall is retained for future generations.

“This is about retaining an iconic civic building that is world famous for its architecture and acoustics. This is a building that is a significant landmark which is worthy of being repaired and refurbished. This is especially so considering how much of the city’s heritage has been demolished, destroyed and lost forever. The work proposed will bring it up to a modern standard and enable a dynamic range of activities to take place in style.

“Today’s recommendations are also a signal to the Government that we are intent on progressing the Performing Arts precinct as per the cost-sharing agreement to look at providing places and spaces for the Court Theatre, the CSO, and the Music Centre.”

In November 2012 the Council voted unanimously to repair the existing facility to 100 per cent of New Building Standard (NBS).
As part of the cost-sharing agreement with the Crown, it was agreed the Council would oversee the development of a new performing arts precinct, including the Town Hall, adjacent to the Theatre Royal. The Council committed to considering several options for the Precinct, that include the Town Hall, by 31 August this year.
Councillors were presented with four options to fully or partially retain the Town Hall and approved the first option. The option recommended by the committee includes full retention of the auditorium, entrance foyer, James Hay Theatre and the Limes Room. The Boaters and the Cambridge Room will be rebuilt. New lighting, audio-visual and sound systems will be installed, the size of the entrance foyer increased, and the acoustics upgraded in the James Hay Theatre.

For more information, including links to engineering reports for the Town Hall, visit: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/cityleisure/projectstoimprovechristchurch/christchurchtownhall/index.aspx

- ENDS -

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