First stage of $4.3 million community-led sports hub begins

Part of the former Freeville School modern learning classroom in transit to its new home.
ROB CURD

Part of the former Freeville School modern learning classroom in transit to its new home.

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.

A concept design for the new $4.3 million Pukeko Centre, a community-led project for various Parklands sports clubs and ...
SUPPLIED

A concept design for the new $4.3 million Pukeko Centre, a community-led project for various Parklands sports clubs and the community.

"Our intention is to enhance what's available for the whole community."

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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 former modern learning centre, built in 2010, as it sat at Freeville School before being moved.
IAIN McGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

The former modern learning centre, built in 2010, as it sat at Freeville School before being moved.

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."

The Pukeko Centre will contain clubrooms, meeting rooms, an indoor sports, events and performance venue, along with ...
SUPPLIED

The Pukeko Centre will contain clubrooms, meeting rooms, an indoor sports, events and performance venue, along with all-weather netball and futsal courts.

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.

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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.

The project will cost $4.3m in total, with the first stage coming to about $1.1m.
ROB CURD

The project will cost $4.3m in total, with the first stage coming to about $1.1m.

"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

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