Com­mu­nity cen­tre job in jeop­ardy

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

The Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board is pre­par­ing to come to the res­cue if fund­ing is not al­lo­cated for ren­o­va­tions to the Blockhouse Bay Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

The Auck­land City Coun­cil set aside $330,000 to up­grade the cen­tre in 2011, with the cost of stage one es­ti­mated at up to $115,000.

Im­prove­ments would be done to toi­lets, of­fice space and the cen­tre’s kitch­enette.

But that job and other projects around the city, could be ditched at the coun­cil’s long-term plan­ning meet­ing later this month.

As a re­sult cen­tre co­man­ager Gra­ham Ed­wards asked the board at its Oc­to­ber meet­ing to con­sider fund­ing some of the re­de­vel­op­ment if coun­cil fund­ing is cut.

“I would re­quest that your weight goes be­hind this so it does get ac­tioned,” he said.

Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald says he thinks the board should help but shouldn’t have to pro­vide the en­tire cost.

“I don’t think we should be re­spon­si­ble for all of it, but we would look at help­ing.”

Mr Macdon­ald says he’s wary of the board us­ing its $1 mil­lion bud­get all at once be­cause it has to last the three-year term.

“We need a large chunk of money for Heron Park so we’ve got to be a bit care­ful about how we spend it.

“We promised to do that work when they de­cided it wasn’t needed for State High­way 20,” he says.

Coun­cil­lor No­lene Raf­fills says she would sup­port fund­ing for the cen­tre from the board’s small lo­cal im­prove­ments fund.

While she feels the im­prove­ments at the cen­tre would be worth­while, Mrs Raf­fills says the coun­cil has to take a city-wide view, as well as fo­cus­ing on the needs of com­mu­ni­ties.

A coun­cil spokes­woman says there was some work done at the cen­tre in mid-2007 at a cost of $150,000.

The work in­cluded paint­ing the out­side of the build­ing, re­seal­ing the main hall floor, fix­ing roof leaks and rails, ex­tend­ing the main stage and in­stalling a new dis­abled toi­let.

A num­ber com­mu­nity groups use the cen­tre for a range of classes, from Chi­nese lan­guage to wa­ter­colour paint­ing.

The board will wait for the out­come of the coun­cil’s 10 year plan dis­cus­sions be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

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