Seddon has news to lift its spirits - the concept plan for the long-awaited Awatere Community Hall has been finalised and the project has been brought forward with a tender for construction out this summer.
Although more than 40 years old, the hall had remained structurally sound despite the earthquakes. However it had to be brought up to standard to meet all the new building and safety code requirements.
Council allocated $3M to the project and an Awatere Memorial Hall Working Group was set up to consider the size and layout of the hall and whether any extra facilities were needed.
Arthouse Architects were contracted to provide the design and that design has now been presented to the Seddon community.
Councillor Cynthia Brooks said the project was going to be a real lift for Seddon people at a time when everyone needed some good news.
“This project has been talked about since 2006 but the earthquakes had made it essential. Council made the right call in deciding to renovate and repair the hall and it’s a great relief to know that people are happy with the design that’s been proposed.”
“The hall is used by almost everyone and to have it fully refurbished will be a boost the heart and soul of the township.”
“It’s been a joy to work with the AMHWG members through many meetings over the last 18 months. Their community connections, thorough consultation and positivity have resulted in a great outcome,” said Councillor Brooks.
It’s hoped that the next stage, the preparation of working drawings, will be completed by December this year. Once detailed design work was done, the community would have the opportunity to see those designs before building began. Tenders were likely to be called in February-March 2018 with construction underway by April.
Councillor Gerald Hope praised the community working group members for the sustained effort they’d put in to get alongside both the local residents and the project management team.
“We had to work out the needs, the aspirations and the budget, remembering that a range of community wishes had to be taken into account. What we have now is a plan that will provide suitable spaces for a range of activities rather than just a sports amenity – it will be possible to partition areas for activities like music and drama lessons as well as providing room for the community events which draw in a big crowd. We hope it will meet everyone’s needs.”