21 Nov 2016

St Martin’s new community centre is open.

Built in just six months, the single-storey community centre on the corner of Wades Ave and Wilsons Rd boasts a striking brick-lined hallway that is flanked on one side by the St Martins Voluntary Library and on the other side by a spacious community hall.

High pitched ceilings and glass sliding doors at either end of the community hall allow light to flood the room and make it a warm, welcoming space. For smaller gatherings, the room can be split into two.

Plus Architecture designed the community centre and Hawkins Special Projects led the construction work.

“We’re thrilled with the way the building has turned out,’’ said Christchurch City Council Community Capital Delivery Manager Darren Moses. “It is a modern multifunctional space that can cater for a wide range of activities and will become a real hub for the community.’’

Mr Moses said the new community centre had a residential feel to fit into the neighbourhood and incorporated a number of eco features, including solar panels on the roof and a rainwater harvesting system.

Special care had been taken to incorporate some heritage items into the new building. For example, a 1920s clock that was in the original St Martins Voluntary Library had been restored and hung in the new building and bricks salvaged from a house in Centaurus Rd incorporated into the intricate brick feature walls.

“We’ve blended old and new to create something special for the people of St Martins,’’ Mr Moses said.

Councillor Tim Scandrett, who represents the Cashmere ward, said it was great to have a new home for the much-valued St Martins Voluntary Library and a place where the community could gather.

“There’s been a community presence on the site where the new community centre sits for close to 90 years so it’s a great to be able to add to that history. The St Martins Community Centre sits at the heart of St Martins and is going to be home to all sort of activities and events that bring people together. It is going to be a real community asset,’’ Cr Scandrett said.