The building of a new hall at St John's Anglican Church in Dannevirke is slowly inching towards becoming a reality.
Parish of Southern Hawke's Bay Vicar Reverend Jo Crosse said the property reference group, which was set up to look at options for the development of the new facilities on the land around St John's Church, met last week to receive a high-level feasibility study report, presented by Gemelli Consulting.
"The consultants have met with a number of local organisations and individuals to assess the needs of our community and explored different options for the site," Crosse said.
As a result of the study, the property group had identified a couple of options to look into in more detail, which include the development of hall and office space for parish, social services and community use, as well as the potential for retail space.
"The next step is a meeting with the chairs of the various church governance bodies to determine how we will proceed from here, and there will be a further update for the community as information and details become available," Crosse said.
In 2016 the existing hall was deemed to no longer be fit for purpose and a new facility was needed.
The hall was more than 100 years old. It had started out as a Sunday school and been added to over the years.
A neighbouring house and section was purchased and the buildings sold for removal, creating a vacant section next to the church on which the new hall will be built.
In July last year, a survey was sent out to different sectors of the community in order to establish what kind of facility was needed.
Apart from accommodating the parish office of the church, the hall houses a range of activities. It is the base for the Elske Centre which provides activities and companionship for the elderly three days a week.
A mini-market is held in the hall every Thursday and Friday. On Thursday mornings during term time, a preschool music group gathers and St John Ambulance cadets meet there.
These groups will be able to continue with their activities in the old hall while the new one is being built.