New Hub looks for central site
A decision on the fate of Nelson's youth centre is expected within a week with staff still working out of the earthquake-prone building.
The trustees of the New Hub are assessing options after suspending youth activities in its New St council-owned building two weeks ago following concerns over its poor earthquake rating.
Manager Stephen Stiles said the trustees would be updating the situation in the next couple of days.
The building would not be open during the school holidays which start next week, but a two-week school holiday programme would go ahead at the Unite Church in Rutherford St.
Mr Stiles said Youth Transition Services staff were still working out of the New Hub as well as some of the groups that rented space there for activities like yoga, tai chi and zumba.
Jay Blazek is working out of the building with two other Youth Transition Services staff, who are still in contact with their 70 clients by phone and meeting them in cafes around Nelson.
Mr Blazek said the closure was jeopardising their service as it strongly relied on their young clients dropping in, so they were already looking for an alternative site out of the need for stability.
After operating out of the New Hub for about seven years, they needed a centrally sited office where they could continue to offer education, employment and career guidance services.
The Refinery Artspace in Halifax St and Prego Mediterranean Foods, also in Halifax St, also operate from Nelson City Council-owned buildings with poor earthquake-strength ratings.
A building is deemed to be earthquake-prone if its resistance to an earthquake is less that 33 per cent of the standard of a new building.
Roger Thorn, the general manager of the Kahurangi Employment Trust that is based at the Refinery Artspace building, said the concerns about the building were based on a 2008 assessment.
The building would be getting another assessment in the next couple of months, which would reveal the cost of any strengthening work needed.
Mr Thorn said he was setting up a working group of high-profile people in Nelson's arts community, who would present a case to the council for funding the work in its long-term plan.
- © Fairfax NZ News