The land would be used for their new facility, replacing the current earthquake-damaged building. The preferred site is between sports fields in the northern part of the park.
Has the public had the chance to give feedback?
Consultation ran from 6 June – 3 July 2017. People were notified of the consultation via a public notice, emails to stakeholders and previous submitters on QEII Park projects, letter drops and a news item in the Recreation and Sports Centre email update. The consultation drew 108 submissions, with 89 in support of the proposal. Read a full breakdown of the feedback.(external link)
Are there other sites that could be used for the Christchurch School of Gymnastics (CSG)?
It was hoped that further consultation could take place with the community to consider other locations for the CSG building which were discussed at an onsite meeting with residents and community groups. However, after further investigations into these alternative sites, the Council found that all of them were either unsuitable or unfeasible(external link). Some were on patches of poor land that would require an extra cost to complete the building foundations, and other possible sites were in places that would prevent any future expansion of the replacement QEII Recreation and Sport Centre. With no alternative site options, a follow-up letter and information leaflet was distributed to local residents and submitters, including details of the Community Board meeting and how to make a deputation.
Can the existing Christchurch School of Gymnastics building be repaired or rebuilt where it is?
The building is no longer fit for purpose for gymnastics activities, with earthquake damage meaning some sections of the building can no longer be used by the public, as well as significantly higher operating costs. Because of damage to the land underneath the facility, most of it would need to be rebuilt completely, with the ground underneath the entire building in need of remediation – which would be too expensive.
What sort of impact would this project have on QEII Park?
The Coastal-Burwood Community Board has a strong interest in the visual appeal of QEII Park, and will have a say in landscaping of the area and the look of the building. A row of trees between the sports fields would need to be removed to create space, and will be replaced with new trees planted near the site. The current car park will still be able to be used for the new facility.
What would happen to the current building?
It's hoped that a suitable tenant can be found to take up the lease, which will mean the building doesn't need to be demolished. The tenant’s needs would need to be appropriate for the building’s current capacity – this would include filling in the foam pits, removing the mezzanine floor and not requiring the space to be well-heated.
What are the next steps for QEII Park?
When councillors approved the sale of a section of QEII Park to the Ministry of Education on 23 June 2016, it was resolved to, "allocate the proceeds from the sale of land towards the development and implementation of a Masterplan for the rest of QEII Park." The sale price was $4.5 million.
The Coastal–Burwood Community Board is working with Council staff to ensure that this plan is developed with community input, and considers things such as
- What principles will define the nature and character of the park to meet the community’s needs.
- What the community wants to see on the park (e.g. walking paths, a golf course, etc.)
Why is the lease being considered ahead of the development of the Masterplan?
CSG has been based at its current location at QEII for 21 years. After its facility was damaged in the earthquakes, repairs were undertaken in early 2013 to give the school an opportunity to continue its programmes while decisions on the future site of the new facility could be made. Approximately $196,000 was spent to bring the facility up to 63 per cent of the New Building Standard. CSG’s decision to remain at QEII Park was supported by a detailed Business Case and by the Council’s Recreation and Sports Unit, which has been closely working with CSG for some time now to help find an appropriate location. The new CSG site is being identified now because of the increased operating costs outlined above, and to secure funding for the project, which requires certainty around a site before it can become available. It will also allow early construction earthworks to take place over the drier summer months.