New 'community hub' on drawing board

A new $4 million community hall is probably on the way for Luggate, says Luggate Community...
A new $4 million community hall is probably on the way for Luggate, says Luggate Community Association committee member Graham Taylor, pictured standing in front of the proposed location of the new facility in Hopkins St Reserve. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
The planning process for a new $4million community centre in Luggate will get under way next month with the hope it can open by the start of 2021.

Discussions between the Luggate community and Queenstown Lakes District Council about a replacement have been ongoing since the Luggate Memorial Hall, built in 1954, was closed in August 2017 because it was deemed an earthquake risk.

Luggate Community Association committee member Graham Taylor said it had been agreed the hall would be demolished and a new facility built nearby, with a budget of $4million.

Rather than being just another hall, the 300sqm facility would have several different spaces that could be used differently, Mr Taylor said.

Such a building would be "complementary to any facility already in the [Upper Clutha] area".

"Basically, we're not going to build a sports hall and we're not going to try and compete with what's already in the area.

"We're going to establish a community hub that will be not only useful for the Luggate community but also for certain things in the Upper Clutha as well.

"The facility will be built so that it can be expanded in the future and also designed in such a way it will have maximum passive solar heating and fully insulated so it keeps running costs to a minimum."

The landscape of the Hopkins St Reserve was also set to change.

Mr Taylor said the new community centre would not be built on the same site as the existing hall, as it was too close to the main highway, and would be located further back.

That would mean the tennis courts would have to be removed, although the children's playground would remain.

Once the hall was demolished sometime next year, the site would be used to form a car park for the new facility.

Mr Taylor said construction would probably start in 12 to 18 months and the new facility would be completed by the beginning of 2021.

In the meantime, the council would place a temporary portable building on the reserve in the next couple of months as a community meeting place.

It would be removed when the new building was ready to open.

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