A few years ago the Salvation Army undertook a complete assessment of its properties around New Zealand, checking earthquake standards and assessing these against the new earthquake building standards.
Woodville had two buildings on their property, a wooden hall and a double brick hall. The assessment found the brick building was significantly below earthquake standards. It was no longer able to be used for public meetings.
"With the brick hall out of use, the decision was made to construct a new building and to demolish the old one," Captain David Daly, the Divisional Commander, Central Division, for the Salvation Army, said.
A Totalspan building was the best option, with an entrance space constructed into the existing wooden hall creating a multi-purpose building. The old brick hall is due to be demolished early in 2019.
"We are delighted with the space which has been created which will meet our needs for the future of the Salvation Army in Woodville," Daly said.
Opening the new building recently were Majors Ray and Coral Allott, retired Salvation Army officers (ministers/pastors). Ray Allott was born in Woodville and completed an apprenticeship with the Dannevirke Electric Power Board before joining the Salvation Army.
"The Allotts actively served for 37 years as officers in various locations around New Zealand including time as officers in Woodville and they also served for 15 years in Chile," Daly said.
"They retired back to Woodville in 1996 and were faithful members of the Woodville corps before moving this year to Palmerston North. It was very appropriate to have them cut the ribbon to the new building that will go on into the future."