Arts Centre repairs on track

TESS MCCLURE
Last updated 05:00 13/08/2014
Christchurch Arts Centre gym
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ

FULLY RESTORED: The Arts Centre's gymnasium building has been fully restored after the earthquakes and will soon welcome new tenants.

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The rebuild of the Christchurch Arts Centre is forging ahead, with half of the complex due to open next year.

The Arts Centre laid out a timeline for buildings due to re-open in its report for the 2013 financial year issued today.

"By mid-next year, we will have half of the site re-opened," centre chief executive Andre Lovatt said.

With the registry and gymnasium already open and tenanted, work will begin on restoring the engineering block, west lecture building and school of arts before the end of the year.

By mid-2015, the library, chemistry block common rooms, college hall, and clock tower should all be open.

The 2013 annual report puts the arts centre in a stronger financial position than last year, with total profits nearly doubled from 2012.

"We are pleased with how we're going. We've made good progress with the restoration and [making up] the shortfall of funds between the insurance settlement and the restoration costs," Lovatt said.

Repair and strengthening work at the centre is expected to take seven years and cost $290 million.

The shortfall left by the $160m insurance payout left the centre appealing to the public for help.

Lovatt said the centre's fundraising drive to bridge the gap was on track.

"We're aware of lots of competing needs within our community, so we've really been focusing on grants from organisations and foundations," he said.

The report listed $24,500 in grants and donations, but Lovatt said more than $14m of the funding had not yet shown up on the balance sheet.

In the past year the centre had received more than $14 million in promised grants where work had to be completed and would be funded after the fact.

The Arts Centre's operating profit for 2013 was up to $3.8m from $1.9m in 2012.

Income was up to $6.1m from $3.4m.

The property and site had also soared in value - going up by $90m as buildings were repaired.

REPAIR DATES

Timetable for reopening:

September 2014: Engineering block restoration begins.

October 2014: West lecture building restoration begins.

December 2014: School of Arts/Girls' High block restoration begins.

June 2015: Re-opening of the chemistry, library and common room buildings.

July 2015: Re-opening of the college hall, clock tower and Rutherford's Den. 

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- The Press

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