$2.6 million Community House getting rave reviews

Central Otago Reap administrator Ruth Arnott helps with the shift into the Alexandra Community House this week. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Central Otago Reap administrator Ruth Arnott helps with the shift into the Alexandra Community House this week. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Tenants are moving into the new $2.6 million Alexandra Community House this week and the facility is already getting rave reviews. The building, in the grounds of St Enoch's Church in the centre of Alexandra, is the base for social service agencies, along with education and arts and crafts groups.

House trust chairwoman Bernie Lepper said the 12 main tenants were moving in this week and next week and it was ''very exciting to the see the project completed and just neat to see people arrive here''. The idea of the complex was mooted about five years ago and fundraising has been going on for several years. The site was cleared a year ago and the new 1054sq m building will be officially opened in a ceremony on February 9.

Mrs Lepper is the manager of Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme (Reap), one of the tenants. Other organisations based there include the Alexandra Community Advice Network, the Central Otago Budgeting Service, Plunket, Relationship Services, Catholic Social Services, Anglican Family Care, Alzheimers Society, Age Concern, Central Otago District Arts Trust, Jigsaw, Cancer Society and the Youth Clinic.

''We've had lots of positive comments so far from people who like the design of the place and the tenants are more than happy with it,'' Mrs Lepper said.

''We're also getting calls every day from people wanting to book rooms for meetings.''

Groups and individuals gave funds for the project with major grants from the Central Lakes Trust, Lotteries Community Fund, Transpower, the Otago Community Trust, the Alexander McMillan Trust, Pub Charities and the Vincent Community Board. Three buildings on the site were removed or demolished to make way for the complex, including the church house and hall and another building known as Ranby House.