In September the SHB Property Reference Group created to decide on the best option for a parish hall received and discussed the preliminary report which was prepared during the initial lockdown period.
That report described the initial findings of Gemelli Consulting following their initial engagement with both parish and community and suggested there were four broad possibilities for future development. These were to:
First, renovate the existing church hall.
Second, develop a new church hall on the site with additional space to meet current needs. This would be developed alongside the current church providing good street appeal with offices, meeting rooms and a large hall space that all could be rented out.
Third, develop a much larger multipurpose facility incorporating all aspects of option 2 but with additional facilities that could include medical facilities (doctors rooms and associated services), sports courts, rock-climbing walls or a theatre space.
Fourth, option 2 with some affordable homes for the elderly on the rear of the site.
Having received that report, a further meeting was held with Bishop Andrew, John Palairet (chairman of the Waiapu Social Services Trust Board), Michael Morgan (chairman of the Waiapu Board of Diocesan Trustees) and mayor Tracey Collis in attendance.
There was a real sense of excitement at the possibilities to work together to develop a facility that will provide space for the parish, social services and wider community.
The preference at this stage is to look more closely at options 2 and 4.
Gemelli Consulting have been asked to begin the next stage of the process which will be to build a more detailed business case including factors such as costs, potential revenue streams, financing options, ownership and management options.
They will also continue consulting with the community groups who were not able to be consulted with in the first round of work, especially mana whenua and local schools.
When we have the more detailed information we expect there will be an opportunity for us to make a public presentation and hear your feedback. In the meantime rest assured that we are making good progress through the background work.