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Shirley Community Centre to be demolished

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 09:08 15/08/2012

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The Shirley Community Centre will be demolished after an engineering report deemed it "dangerous".

The nearly 100-year-old centre in Shirley Rd near Chancellor St was seriously damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and has been closed since.

The Christchurch City Council has received a Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority section 38 notice of demolition for the building because it is considered to be dangerous.

Community services general manager Michael Aitken said that while the building was significant to the Shirley community, it was too badly damaged to repair.

"Engineers have carried out a number of assessments and explored repair and strengthening options. However, they have come to the conclusion that the building unfortunately can't be repaired,'' he said.

"With the building now considered dangerous, the safest option is for it to be demolished. This is certainly sad for the local community, which has used the building in one form or another for almost 100 years."

The building opened as a primary school in 1916 and, after it was replaced by a larger school across the road, the council bought it in 1977 to convert it into a community centre, which was used by several community groups, including Age Concern.

A demolition date has not been set.

Aitken said heritage items would be retrieved from the building during the demolition.

The future of the community centre will be determined as part of the council's facilities rebuild project.

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