$4.5m community centre to open before Christmas

The new Riccarton Community Centre.
The new Riccarton Community Centre.
A new $4.5 million community centre in Christchurch is due to open on December 16.

The Rārākau: Riccarton Centre on Clarence St will replace the earthquake-damaged building on the former Christchurch City Council site next door.

The new two-storey building has a floor area of 760 sq m. An opening ceremony will be held at 2pm on Tuesday, December 17.

City council head of community support, governance and partnerships John Filsell said the name Rārākau, which has been specially gifted by Ngāi Tuahuriri, reflects the bush in the area.

“The wider Pūtaringamotu-Riccarton Bush was abundant with native vegetation, including kahikatea, tōtara, mānuka, tītoki and matai,” Mr Filsell said.

“Today these trees are reflected in the street names surrounding Pūtaringamotu.

“The name Rārākau connects the new centre with all the rākau (trees) and Pūtaringamotu. It captures the beauty of the native bush and reflects this strong connection to the local area.”

Among the centre's features are full-height exterior timber columns and special images in precast panels.

“The use of colour at the centre reflects the bush environment, and sustainability has been integral to the project, with roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels powering the energy supply,” he says.

Mr Filsell said the centre will service the needs of the local community, providing multiple meeting and activity spaces.

The centre includes a council customer services area, a community hall, four activity/meeting rooms of varied sizes, and a kitchen.

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