Construction of the Halswell Library and Community Facility – a new community hub incorporating a library, outdoor pool, meeting spaces and a customer service desk – begins on Monday 14 July 2014.
Deputy Mayor and Riccarton–Wigram Councillor Vicki Buck will break ground on the project, at a Whakawatea (blessing) and sod-turning event at 11am on Friday 11 July.
The Christchurch City Council facility will be located at the site of the popular Halswell Aquatic Centre, and will incorporate the existing pool alongside a 3000 square metre building housing the other services. It’s expected that the facility will take about 16 months to construct and fit-out, with a scheduled November 2015 opening.
David Adamson, Director Council Facilities and Infrastructure Rebuild, says the facility has been in the pipeline since 2009.
Even prior to the post-quake population shift, the Council identified that there was a population boom in Halswell, so it’s fair to say the community has been looking forward to a facility like this for a long time now. This isn’t just the first major Council facility for Halswell, it’s actually the first of its kind in Christchurch to bring this range of services together.
It’s a bit of a one-stop-shop, and this is the approach that our conversations with the community have told us people want, Mr Adamson says.
Hubs like this aren’t just convenient for local residents – they also mean efficiency and savings on the Council’s part. We’re moving towards combining libraries, recreation and sports, customer service and community facilities on a wider scale, and this will be another step.
The Halswell Aquatic Centre’s main pool and hydroslides will stay open during the 2014/15 summer with temporary changing rooms, toilets, BBQ and staff facilities.
Some trees adjacent to the pool are being removed to make space for the facility and its car park. The Council will be planting 122 trees around the new building to replace them, together with substantial low planting in the landscaped areas.
We’ve engaged with the local community over the last while about the sorts of things they’d like to see in the facility, and we’re delighted to be able to include a lot of their ideas, Mr Adamson says. They include:
- An indoor play area for young children.
- A café with outdoor views.
- A specific area for outdoor community activities like markets and performances.
- A large 250–300 person conference/performance/multipurpose space.
- Capacity for dance and low-impact fitness activities.
The community is still able to submit ideas for the sort of services they’d like to see available once the facility opens. They can email HalswellCommunityFacility@ccc.govt.nz, submit to the drop-box at the current Halswell Library at 381 Halswell Road, or talk to library staff.
Funding of $22.9 million was earmarked for the complex in the Council’s 2009–2019 Long Term Council Community Plan. The $22.9 million includes land purchases, fit-out, professional and consent fees. The physical construction budget is approximately $16 million. The existing library, built in 1968, is located in an older building and is too small for present community needs. The building’s future has not yet been decided.
For more information, images and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit www.ccc.govt.nz/HalswellCommunityFacility