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Christchurch City Council’s Community, Recreation and Culture Committee today unanimously recommended the entire Town Hall complex be repaired to 100 per cent of New Building Standards.
As part of this year’s Annual Plan process, which considered the future of the Christchurch Town Hall and other major community facilities, the Council asked staff to prepare a report which would evaluate of the merits of retaining the Town Hall main auditorium only and developing a new entrance and gathering space, provided the overall acoustic quality and sense of place associated with the Town Hall could be retained. That report was presented to today’s Committee meeting.
Committee Chair Yani Johanson says the report shows that the sense of place associated with the Town Hall would not be retained if the main auditorium alone was kept. A number of deputations were received by the Committee which highlighted the importance of keeping the building as it was, with special reference to the auditorium.
"The heritage assessments in the report considered today by the Committee clearly show that by retaining the main auditorium only, we would lose the unique sense of place that the facility now has. The Town Hall is a cultural icon that is both internationally and nationally recognised for its design and acoustics. Given that we have lost so much built heritage already, I believe it is essential we do all we can to keep the Town Hall. It is a special place that tells a special story of our city's past and should be safeguarded for the future." Cr Johanson says.
As part of the Annual Plan 2012/13 process the Council budgeted $127.5 million to repair the Town Hall and support performing arts venues in the Central City. It is estimated that insurance cover will provide $68.9 million, however discussions with insurers are ongoing and this has not yet been finalised.
The Committee’s recommendation will be considered by the full Council and a final decision made on 22 November 2012.
The full report considered at today’s Committee meeting can be viewed online by clicking here.
For background information on the Christchurch Town Hall visit http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Places/Buildings/Venues/TownHall/