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Extra funding for Town Hall improvements

Thursday, May 31, 2018   Posted in: Earthquake By: Administrator With tags: earthquake recovery, repair, arts, built environment

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 31st May 2018

Christchurch City Council has approved extra funding for the Town Hall restoration.

The extra money will be used to fund improvements to the iconic building and brings the total budget for the Town Hall’s restoration and the proposed additional facilities for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO) to $152.2 million.

Inside the Town Hall auditorium.“As construction work on the Town Hall has progressed we have identified opportunities to make improvements to the building to bring it up to modern standards," says Alistair Pearson, Manager Capital Delivery, Major Facilities.

“It makes sense to spend some extra money now to ensure the building is fit for purpose. As with the restoration of any heritage building, complexities with the repair and strengthening of the Town Hall have been highlighted as we’ve gone along."

The original budget for the Town Hall’s repair and restoration was $127.5 million. Since then the budget has been adjusted to take into account inflation costs over the life span of the project. It was further increased to cover the cost of building a purpose-built facility for the CSO so that it could have a permanent home within the Town Hall. This includes a toilet block for the public and offices for venue management company Vbase.

Mr Pearson says improvements to the Town Hall include changes across the facility.  A number of the changes are in the auditorium and the James Hay Theatre.

“After consulting with performing arts groups, it was agreed the James Hay Theatre should be enhanced for both musical and stage performance. The fly tower in the theatre has been upgraded, retractable seating installed to make it a more flexible space, and an improved acoustic system put in.

“Stage lifts have also been installed in the auditorium, which effectively increases the size of the stage so that a full orchestra can play on it," says Mr Pearson.

Other key improvements include replacing the roof, putting in additional provision for CCTV and making the function room floor all one level to make it more accessible.

“The restoration of the Town Hall is progressing well, with work almost complete on the Auditorium. All the seating is back in and the finishing touches are now being made to that space.

“We expect to have the main Town Hall restoration work completed by the end of the year and the new facilities for the CSO finished early next year. We’re aiming to reopen in March 2019," Mr Pearson says.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch