01 Mar 2018

More opportunities for the community to be active and connected is one of the outcomes expected from a new community centre in Shirley.

The Lions Clubs International Foundation originally provided the building as a temporary replacement for the earthquake-damaged St Albans community centre, but it gave the go ahead for the building to be moved from Colombo Street to MacFarlane Park.

A new permanent centre is planned for the Colombo Street site so the temporary facility is no longer needed in that location.

The MacFarlane Park Community Centre

The new MacFarlane Park Community Centre in Shirley will open in the middle of the year.

The building has already been moved to its new home in Shirley.  A new ramp, small car park and deck will soon be built. A nearby adventure playground will be upgraded and the area around the building landscaped.

The new facility should be ready for use as the MacFarlane Park Community Centre by the end of June.

The 125sq m building will be managed by the Shirley Community Trust, which will make it available to local organisations, including sports clubs and church groups. 

The Foundation will formally gift the building to the Council at a ceremony on 9 March attended by Foundation representatives, Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner, Councillors Pauline Cotter and Mike Davidson, and Papanui-Innes Community Board Chairperson Ali Jones.

Reimona Crofts of Tuahiwi Marae will bless the building.

The Foundation paid for the building's relocation to MacFarlane Park and will meet the costs of the new deck and ramp. The Council is covering the cost of the new car park, services, landscaping and foundations.

“This is just one example of the excellent help the Lions have given Christchurch communities since the earthquakes,’’ says Cr Turner.

“During the last six years they've provided wonderful support not only with the St Albans Lions Transitional Facility, but the Aranui Wainoni Community Centre, the Redcliffs Volunteer Library and the South New Brighton Community Centre, providing in total well over $1 million in funding, for which we are extremely grateful.’’

The Papanui-Innes Community Board initiated and supported the project, with Cr Cotter acting as a member of the working party overseeing the process.

“Being part of such a passionate and dynamic group of people who made up the working party has been a real privilege and the many volunteer hours everyone put in have enabled this wonderful community project to come to fruition.  A huge thanks to all,” Cr Cotter says.

Lions Clubs International Foundation spokesman Digby Prosser says the organisation is pleased the facility will continue to serve another community.

"This plan exemplifies the values of Lions in providing opportunities for community activity and development," Mr Prosser says.