Heritage building listed on TradeMe
Asking price of $50,000.MICHELE ONG
The Waverley Town Hall is back on the market with an asking pice on TradeMe of $50,000.
The hall was sold by the South Taranaki District Council in 2009 to a private buyer.
At the time of sale, the council said the buyer was an "individual who has a track record and active interest in the preservation of historical buildings in the district".
But when the Taranaki Daily News paid the 105-year-old building on Waverley's Bear St a visit, the once grand architecture stood in a state of decay, with broken windows, peeling paint, and overgrown grass.
The hall's property manager, who wants to remain anonymous, said the building had been wrecked by vandals, and thieves had broken into the hall to steal the hot water cylinder.
"The amount of damage they had done was huge," he said. "The owner decided that it's best to sell it."
Mayor Ross Dunlop said the hall was a "significant heritage building" and whether the council would buy it back was dependent on community support.
"If the community is really interested, the council will have a consideration," he said.
Waverley resident Maggie Lister said the owner should negotiate with the council on gifting the hall back to the town.
"Establish a trust and let good skilled people who care for it revitalise the building so school children can perform their end-of-year shows and prizegivings with full parent attendance," Mrs Lister said.
She also said the hall could be used to host indoor sports, farmers market, and display historical artefacts and pictures of interest.
She said the community was "very badly divided" when it became clear the council decided to replace the "wonderful and valuable old building" with the extension of the rugby club.
Mrs Lister said the Waverley Community Hall was carpeted throughout, with limited room size, no real stage, and no ambience.
"Nothing to reflect the local community other than a beautiful piece of glass art presented by artist Lisa Walsh," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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