29 Jul 2018

Christchurch Town Hall restoration gets boost

7:11 pm on 29 July 2018

Christchurch City Council events company, Vbase, is set to get a multi-million dollar funding injecting so it can finish repairing the Town Hall.

Artist's impression of a restored Christchurch Town Hall.

Artist's impression of a restored Christchurch Town Hall. Photo: SUPPLIED

The facility was badly damaged in the Canterbury Earthquake, and the council's been restoring it since 2015 at a cost of more than $152 million.

The project had been plagued with cost blow-outs and delays.

A council spokesperson, Carol Bellette, said the council already had the money available in its budget in preparation for the insurance money running out.

"Up until now Vbase has not needed to draw down on the Council's funding contribution because it has been able to use its insurance pay-out to cover the costs of the Town Hall work," she said.

Ms Bellette said the council wanted to inject $44.8 million into Vbase over the next nine months, with most of that - $42.2 million - used to help finish the Town Hall.

She said the remaining $2.6 million would be used for maintenance work at Horncastle Arena.

That money had already been assigned in the council's Long Term Plan and Annual Plan.

The funding will be discussed at a council committee meeting on Wednesday.

The Town Hall is expected to be reopened by March 2019.

Seeking new location for complex

The Christchurch City Council is being asked to investigate an alternative site for a controversial pool and library complex.

The council wanted to build its new South West Leisure centre on Denton Park, in Hornby, which was strongly opposed by the sports clubs that use the grounds.

They were backed by the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, which voted earlier this month against changing the parks classification.

Now the board is asking the council to begin geotechnical investigations on nearby Kyle Park as soon as possible.

Memorial keeps temporary home

Meanwhile, Christchurch's famous 185-chair earthquake memorial will likely remain where it is for now.

The temporary installation, featuring 185 white chairs, was built after the February 2011 earthquake, which claimed the lives of 185 people.

It is currently opposite the site of the former CTV building, where 115 people died when the building collapsed.

The installation was not intended to be permanent.

However, the council said there was no expectation from the landowner, Otakaro Limited, for the temporary art work to be decommissioned or removed.

A proposal for a permanent installation is also being developed by the original artist, Peter Majendie.