The Council has released a list of priority community repairs and rebuilds and the St Albans Community Centre, which was demolished in 2011 is not on the rebuild list.
In the Shirley Papanui wards, the Shirley Community Centre will be replaced and the Papanui library repaired further. There is nothing listed for the St Albans area, which covers a sizeable portion of Shirley Papanui.
However, Council is offering to spend an extra $2.8 million dollars on a new community centre and library for Bishopdale rather than simply repairing the building, so that body is not always opting for the cheapest option.
In August 2010 the Council was consulting with the St Albans community over a design it drew up for a second community centre building not linked to the old centre building. On September 4, the wall fell out of the old centre and it was demolished in 2011. In mid 2012 a transitional centre was installed at 1049 Colombo Street, thanks to the Lions. That building will be moved from the site in 18 months and there is nothing, it appears from this list, planned in its place.
The article quotes the Mayor who claims that the decision was based on feedback from residents on what they want retained. Really? They seem to have ignored St Albans feedback because SARA co-chair Emma Twaddell has repeatedly been on the council case reminding them of the lack of centre facilities (between 2010 and 2012) and requesting access (since 2012).
The transitional community centre is in reality a meeting hall and not a proper community centre. What has become of the 2010 plan? Nothing?
From one, then two buildings to nothing? The centre building was a key part of the St Albans Residents Association activities and a thriving community centre for St Albans before the earthquakes. Since the quakes and the temporary installation, the building has helped out by providing a meeting place, but not a base, for groups to meet but is a pale imitation of what it was.
At a community board meeting in early August Council staff said there would be no new building for St Albans and suggested that community groups should use church facilities instead. It appears this applies to St Albans only, as community facilities in other suburbs are being repaired or replaced (and they don’t need to be deemed un-repairable first).