Karori campus recreation facilities a priority

 

The Karori campus tennis and netball courts will be preserved for public use, Mayor Justin Lester says.

At a press conference following a Wellington City Council strategy committee meeting, Lester said he had no doubt that the recreation facilities would be preserved.

The sale of the campus by Victoria University had received strong community interest, particularly regarding how it would affect the facilities they currently had access to, Lester said.

“The best-case scenario is that all of the facilities that the community was using previously would be retained, that would be ideal.”

“We’re working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, in particular we are looking at the recreation assets around the tennis courts, the cricket nets and the netball courts.”

The council are currently in negotiation with the university and the Ministry of Education regarding the sale of the campus.

“It’s likely that we will be bidding on part of the land, but it’s a question of whether we will be doing that independently or with the Ministry of Education.”

The Council and Ministry were currently looking at the possibility of purchasing other parts of the campus for the expansion of Karori Normal School and a technology hub for schools in the area, said Lester.

Cost was a factor in how these decisions will be made, Lester said.

“We would quite happily take it for a dollar, but if the university requires a much greater figure it’ll be a bit harder for us.”

“Say, for example, the dance hall, there is a question around the commercial value of that, if any.”

The significance of parts of the campus were currently being evaluated by Heritage New Zealand, with several buildings representing the best example of the Brutalist architecture style in Wellington, Lester said.

“There is a consideration around the heritage of parts of the campus. Heritage New Zealand is currently considering whether to list parts of the building, which would prevent a commercial entity from knocking it down and developing residential housing or a retirement village.”

The council voted unanimously  to lodge its interest under the Public Works Act for part of the campus it planned to use as additional parking for Karori Pool.

Karori Pool facilities manager Royce Williams said  the pool currently  had about 30 parks, which were consistently full during the day.

“I don’t think it would solve the problem, but another 20 parks would make a huge difference,” Williams said.

 

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Article by Baz Macdonald

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Article by Baz Macdonald

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