Options for the Rangiora Town Hall

The Town Hall in earlier days

On the face of it, there are a number of options before the community when it comes to fixing the earthquake-prone buikding – it is currently assessed at 28% of new building standard.

However, the existing Long Term Plan, consulted on and confirmed in 2009, already projects a major development of the Town Hall.  This includes earthquake-strengthening the existing building, and building around it on the southern and western sides new dressing rooms and toilets for performers and crew, a smaller and more flexible performance space, shifting the movie theatre downstairs and enlarging the foyer.  There would be a new entrance into that foyer off High Street, and there would be a reception area upstairs where the movie theatre now is.  There would also be storage of costumes and props, along with practice rooms for music students and the like.  A lift will need to be installed for disabled access upstairs.
What is wrong with the existing building?
There is only one toilet backstage, and that is on the stage itself!  During performances, cast and crew have to come outside the building and run around the to the front door to use the toilet off the foyer! I think we all know that the foyer is hopelessly small.  In addition, there is a real shortage in the District of middle-sized performance spaces.
Are there alternatives? Well I guess there are, ranging from knocking it down and building nothing to replace it, to knocking it down and building something brand new.  The latter would be the strongest solution from an earthquake-resistance point of view, and while it is probably the most expensive option (if it included the above add-ons), the Council is seeking an update on the likely costs of doing this. 
In addition to this, the Council has been talking to Kaiapoi High School about upgrading their auditorium to provide an improved performance space there.
The pressure has obviously come on because of the closure of the Town Hall and forced the council to consider advancing its plans.
All, however, comes up for discussion as part of the Long Term Plan process.  The Council is about to prepare a draft, which will go out for consultation next month.

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2 Responses to “Options for the Rangiora Town Hall”

  1. Patrick Says:

    being the longest operating picture theatre in canterbury and one of the 3 longest operating in the country, it needs to be retained, I like the idea for a cinema area downstairs as this would be good for older/diabled people to have easy acess. I hope the WDC gets in contact soon,
    Patrick Walsh
    film operator
    Regent Theatre

  2. David Ayers Says:

    Hi Patrick. We are currently going through the Draft Long Term Plan process to confirm what we are going out to the public with. It won’t be until nearly June before we have a final decision.

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