New sports centre at QEII approved

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 12:44 04/09/2014
QEII clean-up
Carys Monteath

CLEARING: The former QEII stadium was demolished after the quakes.

QEII
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ
MUCH-MISSED FACILITY: Christchurch lost its only all-weather athletic track when QE2 was demolished.

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The East

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Queen Elizabeth II Park has been selected by the city council as the preferred location for the city's planned new eastern recreation and sports centre.

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But geotechnical investigations and a feasibility study need to be done before the final go ahead can be given for the multimillion project.

Councillors have set a deadline for those studies of April next year. By then the council hopes to have a better handle on the scope, cost and timing of the new centre.

QEII Park was chosen as the preferred site for the new eastern recreation and sports centre on the unanimous recommendation of a community advisory group which considered eight sites. It weighed each of the sites against a set of criteria and determined that QEII was the best location for the centre.

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

The council has $30.5 million on its books for a new recreation and sports centre in the east. The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has also pledged $6.5m for water attractions at the centre.

Cr Yani Johanson said the process to select a site had not been easy but he believed a good decision had been reached.

I think the really important thing now is that we do commit to the site and we do get something happening . . . so we can get this facility open as soon as possible,'' Johanson said.

"I am really excited about today - this is a very positive step forward for our city.''

Cr Glenn Livingstone said there were compelling reasons why QEII should be the site of the new centre and would build on the site's legacy.

Cr David East said there "had been a huge craving'' for the return of an aquatic facility in the eastern suburbs to replace those lost with the demolition of QEII.

While he had initially favoured siting the new eastern sport and recreation centre in New Brighton, he now believed QEII site was best option.

"Let's get on with this project. It's been a long time coming,'' East said as he urged councillors to vote in support of the site.

The vote in favour of QEII was unanimous.

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