Shirley Community Centre's future to be decided

Shirley residents are one step closer to a decision on the suburb's Community Reserve.

The Christchurch City Council is calling for submissions on the future of the contentious site.

The reserve was previously home to the Shirley Community Centre, badly damaged in the 2011 earthquakes and demolished a year later.

Since then, recreational facilities have been built in its place. But local residents have been calling for a new facility to replace the old centre for more than a decade.

The original Shirley Community Centre was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. PHOTO:...
The original Shirley Community Centre was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN
Speaking during a deputation to city councillors, Mark Wilson said the Shirley Community Centre had been well used before the quakes.

"There are other areas of the city which have recently had new community centres built, more money and tens of millions of dollars thrown at them.

"And here we are. Shirley is still struggling to get a community centre rebuilt that they lost after the earthquakes.

"It's inadequate, it's embarrassing".

The Waipapa Papanui-Innes-Central Community Board said  the future of Shirley Community Reserve was a key priority in its local board plan.

The community has been offered three options for the reserve.

Firstly, a recreation space with full basketball court, renewed playground, picnic and BBQ area, and a community garden and walkway.

The second option was the creation of a community hub which would be open to partnerships with local organisations.

The third option would be to leave the space as it is now.

Wilson said the Shirley community had lost a lot and needed its community centre.

"Build it, and they will come".

Results from the residents' survey would be presented to the Community Board in October, with a final decision on the reserve's future by November.

To submit, go to:

- By Geoff Sloan
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air