Part of Christchurch Arts Centre to reopen

After two and a-half years, part of Christchurch's Arts Centre is to reopen.

From 1-3pm on Sunday, people can go into the two-storey Registry building on the corner of Montreal St and Worcester Boulevard in the city.

The Registry building's northern wall collapsed and the walls and floors had to be re-joined after the 2010-2011 earthquakes.

Built in 1916, the building is the first of the 22 earthquake-damaged buildings in the Arts Centre to be restored.

Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt said the completion of the restoration was a significant milestone and a confidence boost.

"The open day is an opportunity for everyone to walk through the building and experience first hand a tangible part of our vision for the future of the Arts Centre. The building has been restrengthened and we have added a few modern touches inside," he said.

For more than a century, the Arts Centre site was home to Canterbury College and then the University of Canterbury.

The Registry building was used by the chancellor and vice chancellor.

The $290 million restoration programme of the remaining 21 damaged buildings is expected to be completed over the next seven years.

- Samantha McPherson of The Star

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