Lyttelton's recreation centre has finally reopened, almost five years to the day after it was damaged in the Christchurch earthquake on February 22, 2011.
Writer and local resident Joe Bennett joined Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel at an opening event today featuring performances, pirate-hat-making, storytelling, a children's art display and public participation in basketball, karate, football and squash.
A new temporary Lyttelton library has also opened in the adjacent Trinity Hall.
"The Lyttelton rec centre played a big part in the everyday, pre-quake life in Lyttelton, so its return is most welcome," Mayor Dalziel said.
"Before it closed in December 2011, the centre would get more than 22,000 bookings each year, and served as the primary civil defence emergency centre for Lyttelton.
"Now it's back, and the community has a familiar space for activities and for meeting up. Along with the pop-up library, which means customers don't have to miss out on their regular visits in 2016, Lyttelton has real cause to celebrate with us this weekend."
The recreation centre's sports hall doubles as a large assembly space for events and supports basketball, badminton, volleyball, indoor football, indoor bowls, dance, yoga, pilates, group exercise, and foundation movement skills for children.
Christchurch City Council has repaired and strengthened the building and made significant improvements including soundproofing, upgrading the ventilation system, re-roofing the office and squash courts and improving the fit-out.
The temporary library opened on February 15, and will remain until repairs are completed on the permanent Lyttelton Library in London St in December.
Banks Peninsula councillor Andrew Turner said the temporary facility had about 70 per cent of the permanent library's collection and provided a space for programmes to continue.