Christchurch City Council officially opened a new community facility on the site of the demolished South New Brighton Community Centre.
The new transitional community centre, which is a joint venture between the Council and the Lions Clubs International Foundation, opened at 6pm on Friday 8th of November. It became available for community use on Saturday 9th of November.
With the help of Lions’ funding, the Council has re-located the former QEII Park Preschool building to the South New Brighton site, where it has been placed onto new foundations, repaired and refurbished.
The South New Brighton Community Centre was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and was demolished in February this year. The former QEII Park Preschool in Travis Road has also been closed since the February 2011 earthquake. Most of the damage to the building was to its foundations, which has been rectified by moving it to another site with new foundations.
Since its relocation from QEII, new foundations have been built, bringing the new community centre to 100 per cent of the New Building Standard. The building has also been re-wired, re-plumbed, re-painted and new carpet has been laid. There is a hall, meeting space and office space available for public use.
Councillor Glenn Livingstone says he and Councillor David East are proud to open the first new Council-owned community centre since the earthquakes.
"This is a wonderful collaboration between the Council and the Lions. A unique opportunity has been identified to transform a disused building into a new facility, returning a much-loved and needed community centre to South New Brighton residents."
Councillor David East says, "Replacing the earthquake-damaged community centre was a priority for the Council due to the lack of alternative gathering places in this area. It’s wonderful to join with residents and Lions to celebrate the re-opening of this fabulous new facility."
Lions District Governor John Benefield says it has been rewarding to work with the Council to see this project come to fruition.
"Lions are right behind this initiative as it supports the recovery of one of our hardest-hit communities post-earthquake. It’s about enabling residents to connect with each other."
The community centre will be used by the South New Brighton and Southshore Residents’ Groups. A number of other groups were also looking forward to the facility re-opening, including dance, karate and kickboxing groups and an after school programme.
South Brighton Residents’ Association Events Co-ordinator Jane Harrison says the group is very excited about the opening of the new transitional community facility.
"As a very busy community group we have struggled to find places to bring people together since the demolition of the previous community centre. With the opening of the new facility, we will continue to provide information sessions and community events for our community, knowing that we have a warm and dry place to hold them."
South New Brighton Community Centre is one of 30 projects which the Council in September 2012 identified as one of its top 30 projects for funding, further investigations and, where possible, repairs.
For more information on the project and other Facilities Rebuild Programme visit Future Christchurch