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Luggate Community Association chairman Graeme Perkins said several discussions between the association and council staff had seen a ``leaning'' towards constructing a new hall rather than repairing the 1954 building, and a design process was set to begin in October or November this year.
``It's pretty promising, really, to be talking design this quick. It's pretty pleasing progress. It feels slow but it's stepping along.''
The old hall has been sealed since last August following the result of an engineer's report that found the building to have just 15% of the required strength.
Late last month, the Queenstown Lakes District Council committed to a quick replacement of the hall, allocating nearly $1million in its long-term plan in the next two years to go towards a new facility.
Cr Calum MacLeod said it was the ``classic case'' of a situation where council could spend ``several million dollars'' to get the existing building back up to scratch, or simply knock it down and replace it with something better.
A portable cabin was an option being explored by council as a temporary facility and meeting place for the community while the new building was constructed, Cr MacLeod said.
Mr Perkins said having a community centre was vital for Luggate, as it was used for everything from marriages and funerals to civil defence, dog training, town dances, and martial arts.
``The whole community life happens in the hall, and we've got a lot of groups at the moment trying to struggle on in their own homes and living rooms.''
The new building would be around one and a-half times the size of the existing building and cost about $3.4million, Mr Perkins said. The funding shortfall would be discussed at the association's next meeting at the end of the month.
After conversations with council, he said he was confident the remaining funds would be able to be raised through approaching various trusts.
``They [council] are talking pretty proactively about helping us raise the remaining balance.''