Hamilton City Council’s preferred location to build a new community centre is next to Te Rapa Sportsdrome, Elected Members decided today (14 December).
A reclassification is now needed for the area adjacent to Te Rapa Sportsdrome, to enable the proposed new centre to be leased to Pukete Neighbourhood House. Community engagement on the reclassification is expected to happen in early 2024.
The new building is intended to be fit-for-purpose and would free up space in the Sportsdrome for sporting activities. Staff will work on the detailed design, to include bookable spaces for meetings and activities, and space for a café, which could offer employment, upskilling and revenue for the community centre.
Pukete Neighbourhood House has leased part of Te Rapa Sportsdrome for 18 years, but has outgrown the space it’s in.
They offer a range of services, including before and after-school care, holiday programmes, food security assistance, activities and events to increase social connection.
Mayor Paula Southgate noted that “we have heard loud and clear that the community supports the Pukete Neighbourhood House, so this is an exciting step toward a fit-for-purpose, permanent home.”
“Pukete Neighbourhood House serves a large area in Hamilton. This new community centre will enable the House to better provide their wide range of services to the community, while also providing a new community space for everyone to use.”
Elected Members favoured this option, over an earlier proposal to put the new facility in Ashurst Park, near Ashurst Avenue.
“When we engaged with the community about the Ashurst Avenue proposal, we heard how special that piece of parkland is to people,” said Parks and Recreation Unit Director, Maria Barrie.
“We wanted to ensure that any location chosen would benefit the whole community. We are grateful for the voices we heard during the process.”
General Manager of Pukete Neighbourhood House, Scott Tiffany, is excited about what this means for his kaupapa.
“It’s exciting that after almost 20 years, our city will have a new purpose-built community centre, and that after almost 40 years we will have a permanent home. With this new space, we will be able to considerably improve our service offering to the community.”