QEII site gets nod for $30m sports centre

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 15:57 20/08/2014
QEII
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

MUCH-MISSED FACILITY: The QEII site may soon house a new recreation and sports centre.

Andrea Cummings
SUPPLIED
Burwood/Pegasus Community Board chair and advisory group member Andrea Cummings.

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Queen Elizabeth II stadium could become the site for a $30.5 million recreation and sport centre in Christchurch.

A community advisory group, which was formed to consider a site for a new Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre, has recommended QEII as its preferred location.

Other sites identified and investigated included Rawhiti Park, New Brighton, Burwood Park, Cuthberts Green, Clare Park, Aranui Campus and Prestons Development.

Advisory group spokesman Robert Jugovac said QEII rated highly on many key criteria, including accessibility, likelihood to enable wide participation, impact on social wellbeing and the area available, which would allow the centre to grow over time if necessary.

Burwood/Pegasus Community Board chair and advisory group member Andrea Cummings said the recommendation would be presented to the board on September 1.

The board will then report to the full Christchurch City Council on September 11, when councillors will decide whether to approve the site.

The advisory group includes representatives from Youth Alive Trust, Rawhiti Community Sports Inc, Aranui Community Trust Incorporated Society, Tumara Park Residents' Association, Avondale Residents' Association, Coastal Spirit Football Club, Keep QEII in the East, and Eastern Vision.

Cummings said the facility would focus around aquatic activities, including various sized pools, and hopefully include a gym and some indoor courts.

"The community has been crying out for something to replace what we lost," she said.

"A place for the people in the east to go and keep up their recreational exercise."

Burwood/Pegasus councillor David East said he was happy with the recommendation, but warned there was still a bit of work to do.

''There's a large amount of geotechnical work yet to be done on the site to ascertain where on QEII things can and can't be built.''

East hoped work would be under way on the facility by the end of the year.

In June 2012, the council agreed an eastern centre should be built on the QEII site, or an agreed alternative location, to replace the damaged QEII Sport and Recreation Centre.

A budget of $30.5 million was been allocated to the Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre in the 2012/13 Annual Plan and subsequently brought into the Christchurch city three-year plan.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has also given $6.5 million for water attractions at the facility.

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- The Press

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