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Public impatient to see community complex built

The Central App

Hunter Andrews

12 March 2023, 5:00 PM

Public impatient to see community complex builtSome of the many who checked out plans for the new Memorial Hall and Events Centre over the weekend

Three drop-in sessions over the weekend proved a popular destination for Cromwell residents anxious to see plans for the proposed Memorial Hall and Events centre.

More than 300 people took the time to see what designers were proposing for the new complex. 

Most feedback was positive, with some undisguised impatience to see the development started.

People the Central App spoke to said they liked the plans. They just wanted to know when it would finally be built. 

‘When will it be built?’ was a common question from Cromwell residents

“It’s been far too long, really,” Cromwell Community Board (CCB) deputy chair Bob Scott said.

“It’s been nice to say to people at the drop-ins, well, we are doing something. Here It is. What do you think? Everybody says, yeah, great, love it. Now get on with it.”

Central Otago District Council (CODC) property and facilities manager Garreth Robinson said he’s been getting the same impatient feedback: “The message has been, when is it getting built? When are you breaking ground?” 

“We’ve received positive feedback about the building, the outlook, and the materials; it’s been awesome. 

“It’s just a matter of getting the funding over the line; those conversations are happening now,” he said. 

Deputy mayor Neil Gillespie (left) and CODC property and facilities manager Garreth Robinson discuss the plans 

Deputy mayor and CCB member Neil Gillespie agreed the process had taken a long time, but said it’s essential to get everything as “right as you can with a community project like this”.  

“It’s been important to put the hard work in at the front end of the project because you’ve got less chance of getting it wrong. You need to hear what people say and get the balance right.”

The plans with any changes will go to the CCB for their consideration and sign-off in May.

Garreth is hopeful construction will be underway by the end of this year, with an 18-month to two-year construction period expected.

PHOTOS: The Central App