Archive for May, 2013

Rangiora Town Hall Strengthening and Extension About to Start

24 May 2013

Town HallAlthough work was actually authorised and budgeted for a year ago, the Waimakariri Council has just considered submissions to this year’s Annual Plan and has further approved the work. It is hoped to call for tenders in July.  Expressions of interest from construction companies have already been received and there has been an impressive response.

Nearly half the cost of $11.5m will go towards strengthening the existing building, including anchoring the old part to the new extension.

The additions have received the approval of a heritage architect and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.  This was necessary because it is a Category 2 Historic Building.

The auditorium will receive some upgrading, such as a new orchestra pit and audience seating, but will essentially remain as it is. What the extension will give the community is a flexible 150-seat smaller theatre alongside, greatly improved backstage facilities for performers and crews (the current facilities are awful), much better foyer space both upstairs and downstairs, better toilets for audiences and four smallish rooms that can be used for music tuition, meetings, etc. The movie theatre will be moved downstairs. untitled

While the extensions will take up some of the car-park space, we need to remember that the Council car-park is only 2-3 minues walk away – and it is largely empty in the evenings when most large Town Hall events occur. There is now a footpath beside the driveway connecting the Council car-park with King Street.

Thousands of people used the Town Hall every year before it was closed, either as performers or audiences. This upgrade will meet their needs a lot better. The enhancemen of the town Hall will also help in the revitalisation of the Rangiora Town Centre.




Waimakariri Approves Budget for Upgrade of Rangiora’s Red Lion Corner and High Street

24 May 2013

The Waimakariri District Council has approved budget for the major upgrade of the Red Lion Corner and Central High Street.

This has been on the books for three years, before the earthquake, after major community consultation at that time.Red Lion Corner The closure of several premises because of the earthquakes has meant that the programme has been brought forward several years to help in the revitalisation of the town centre.

The problems with the current layout are legion.

  • It is terrible for pedestrians (as is the associated High-Albert Streets corner)
  • The turn from Ivory St east into High St is difficult
  • Driving cross Albert Street from west to east can be perilous
  • Access to the main shopping area from the east is essentially blocked
  • If you want to drive south from High Street you have to first drive north

Really, the only manoeuvres that really work are north-south movement and the left turn past the Red Lion.

The new layout will line up Ivory and Ashley Streets to make a conventional cross-roads controlled by traffic lights.

The Council already owns the the former Westpac building but will need to purchase more property.

Associated with this will be the returning of High Street to two-way traffic with parallel parking. This will oimporve the business environment for retailers at the east end in the area of the BNZ and ANZ banks, make it easier for pedestrians to move around the town and make it possible to come in from the east. At the same time, the Council will be working on improving parking availability in adjacent areas.

Discussions with the RSA about relocation of the Cenotaph will begin soon. The Cenotaph itself is not actually affected, but the new road will pass very close to it.

Assuming property purchase and other issues go reasonably smoothly, wotk could start towards the end of 2014.

Prime Minister Visits Kaiapoi – Gives and Receives Money! Kaiapoi Riverbank Project Gets a Major Boost.

23 May 2013

The Prime Minister John Key, with local Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson and yours truly acting as hosts, visited Kaiapoi yesterday. On the still-sloping platform (earthquake!) near the Tuhoe, he was acknowledged for the grant of $2m from the Earthquake Appeal Trust for the Kaiapoi Riverbank Restoration project. Trust member Colin MacDonald, who is also the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs announced the grant.

It should be noted that a $200,00 grant has also been made to the Cure Boating Club towards the reconstruction of their clubrooms on the north bank, neaKaiapoi Riverr the new library.

The CEO of Sky Television, John Fellet, also announced the donation of $1m from Sky to the Trust to go towards sports recovery in Canterbury.

The Riverbank Project will include restoring the walkway, repairing the wharf and constructing a new boat ramp. The Waimakariri-Ashley Lifeboat building is, of course, not part of the Council’s work, but their new clubrooms will also feature.  It is great that they already have the funding arranged.

Kaiapoi’s history is tied up with the river.  It is the reason Kaiapoi is where it is. This major project is an important step in Kaiapoi’s recovery from the earthqukes.

Waimakariri Council Gives New Kaiapoi Library Final Go-Ahead

23 May 2013

New Kaiapoi Library The Waimakariri Council has given the final go-ahead for the new Kaiapoi Library. It will also include the Council’s Service Centre, the Kaiapoi Museum and an art space providing a similar facility to the Chamber Gallery in Rangiora.

The Library and Service Centre have been closed since the September 2010 earthquake and were demolished a few months ago.

The Museum was formerly housed in the old Kaiapoi Court House. Badly damaged in that quake, it was demolished shortly afterwards. The collection is currently housed in the Air Force Museum at Wigram.

Tenders will be called next month and will include a remodelling of McAllister Square in front of the building and turning Raven Quay on the north side int a one-way pedestrian/vehicles “shared space” connecting the library to the riverbank.

The first floor of the two-storeyed building will afford views out over the Kaiapoi River, which is so central to Kaiapoi’s history.

The design will look something like the early concept shown here.

Good Meeting in Clarkville on Kendall Park Astroturf

8 May 2013

Kendall Park is the main football ground in Waimakariri and is the headquarters of the Waimak United Football Club.  The Council proposes to install an astroturf surface there to enable practices to be undertaken regardless of the weather. Currently, the demand for practice and match usage of grounds by rugby, football and league could mean the community will have to buy more land. Astroturfs are more cost-effective than buying land.

Residents in the vicinity of Kendall Park at the meeting learned that the astroturf pitch is unlikely to have much impact on them.  There are, however, real traffic safety concerns in Island Road and continuing problems with drainage around the park.  There will be further meeting to talk about these matters, as well as to give an update on the astroturf progress.

The astroturf will be able to be used for football and for training by league and rugby teams – especially if their grounds are “out” because they are too wet.

Kaiapoi Public Meeting Supportive of Council Programme in Town Centre

8 May 2013

Monday’s public meeting in Kaiapoi was supportive of what the Council is doing in the town centre.  The work on the north side of the bridge (pictured below) is almost complete. Next will be the bridge itself, followed by the intersection on the south side.  The intention is to complete that by the time that the new part of Blackwell’s opens in September. Also discussed was the new library / service centre / museum which will go out to tender in a few months.130405 Work in Williams St Kaiapoi (400x267)

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