First stage of $4.3 million community-led sports hub begins
The first stage of a $4.3 million community-led sports hub has made its way to a new home in Parklands.
The Parklands Bowling Club and Parklands Rugby Football Club, both displaced after the Christchurch earthquakes, will come together at a new facility, named the Pukeko Centre.
Bowling club vice president Wayne Eden said karate, fencing, netball and petanque clubs, as well as neighbouring Parklands School, had all signalled interest in using the facility.
"Our intention is to enhance what's available for the whole community."
An unoccupied modern learning centre from what was once Freeville School, previously destined for demolition, was relocated in four pieces this week after more than three years of planning.
The building would eventually be home to clubrooms, meeting rooms and social facilities.
"It has taken time but there's a fair bit of buzz and excitement around the place now," Eden said.
"It's no longer a dream. We're past the point of no return."
He said contractors were in the process of "knitting it together" before a second building, the school's hall, was transported in the coming weeks.
This will provide an indoor sports, performance and events venue. When completed, the complex will include all-weather netball and futsal courts.
The buildings had previously sat unoccupied since Freeville merged with Central and North New Brighton schools to become Rawhiti School in 2015.
Kim Shannon, head of education infrastructure service at the Ministry of Education, said the new sport hub was "a win-win for everyone".
"They get the buildings at no cost and pay any expenses associated with the move, we save on demolition fees and one of the buildings, that was built around 2010, is able to be reused."
Eden said the project worked out cheaper than building from scratch.
"We had a design for [one big building] which wouldn't have allowed the same flexibility as we've got now with the other two buildings."
The new home for the Parklands rugby club, nicknamed the Roosters, would provide "a bit of ownership" for members and allow them to celebrate their history, president Bevan Stewart said.
The club, which caters for teams up to the U13 grade, shared a nearby community centre after the earthquakes before having to move to the Queenspark School hall.
"We've still been looking for a real home, just to have your trophies on the wall, have your things out there on display."
The Pukeko Centre would be developed in various stages as funding was acquired. Eden said more than $1m had already been raised to begin the work.
The group is seeking another $1.1m for the second stage through funding grants, corporate sponsorship and crowdfunding.
An information session is being held on site at 30 Chadbury St, Parklands, on May 28. Visit Givealittle.co.nz/cause/thepukekocentre for more information.
- The Press