Gym back on its feet at Arts Centre

Last updated 05:00 28/07/2014
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 second building in the Christchurch Arts Centre to be fully restored has celebrated its reopening.

A public open day was held at the gymnasium building yesterday to give people a closer look at the restoration since the earthquakes.

The building used to house Academy Cinema but will soon welcome its new tenants, Free Theatre Christchurch and Arts Circus.

Located opposite the registry building, the gymnasium was formerly the Christchurch Boys' High gym.

Restoration and repair of the building has included strengthening foundations and the roof, construction of reinforced concrete shear walls, bracing of the roof light and general repair to masonry.

The work also uncovered unique original details unseen for decades.

Arts Centre chief executive Andre Lovatt said the building's completion, as part of the Arts Centre's restoration programme, was a significant achievement.

"A lot of care and hard work has enabled us to restore the gymnasium in a way that not only respects and highlights the original design, but also provides for a range of uses for tenants and the community.

"This is the first major arts tenancy for the Arts Centre, which reflects our focus on bringing the arts back to the site," he said.

Free Theatre Christchurch has signed a two-year lease for the gymnasium building in the historic complex, making it one of the first theatre companies to return to the city centre since the earthquakes.

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- The Press

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