Strathmore Community Hall ‘refresh’ planned

Strathmore Community Hall ‘refresh’ planned

Strathmore Community hall is due for a refresh late 2019. Photo Mazz Scannell

Big plans are on the drawing board for the Strathmore Community Hall with a $1.2 million’ refresh’ planned for later this year.

Wellington City Council is in the early stages of planning the refresh and architects are currently working with the Strathmore Community Trust before a wider consultation process of community-led workshops is undertaken.

The Strathmore Residents Association is hoping it will be involved in the workshops. President Karl Frost said the association was looking forward to seeing the hall refreshed. “We hope the development will also review accessibility from the street. In a perfect world, a better bus stop and gentler access into the hall would be of great benefit.”

The hall is the last of four community hall refresh projects recently undertaken by the council. The previous refresh projects were the Newtown, Kilbirnie and Te Aro community halls.

The Strathmore Hall is a busy place with a wide range of activities including handicrafts, exercise classes, dance, music, public meetings, school holiday programmes, and social functions. The current layout is outdated and toilet and kitchen facilities need updating.

 

Council communication coordinator Sophie Parson said although the project has not officially begun, she wanted to “make sure the engagement process fulfils the needs and visions of the Strathmore community.” The final design and look of the hall will not be made public until the workshops have concluded.

 

“The workshops will encourage local groups and the residents of Strathmore to share ideas, talk about what is important, set priorities and review initial designs. The feedback and information gathered will give direction to the evolving hall design.”

Community services manager Jenny Rains is excited the community had been involved from the start. “This is a very holistic story, we are talking about the grassroots communities of Strathmore developing an overarching plan to have the community spaces work for the community in a way that suits them.”

“The development is a good example of the council working with the community. It is about the council, local groups and residents working together to make sure the hall is a good fit for the community,” said Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons.

The change to a more consultative approach in community development had been used in local government for about 10 years.Inspiring Communities consults with many councils in New Zealand.

pokesperson Barbara MacLennan said, “When the consultation includes community users and stakeholders, as well as the council, a wider range of issues are considered and the council has multiple perspectives.”

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Article by mazzscannell@gmail.com

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