Monte Cecilia whare to get renovation
A historic building at Monte Cecilia Park has been saved from potential demolition.
The whare on the former Monte Cecilia Catholic School site in Auckland will receive a reallocated $300,000 despite council advising against its retention in May.
This will go towards developing the building as a community space, learning centre and local archive and reading room, a council spokesperson says.
The whare was built around 1886 and moved to the park in 1902 to serve as the schoolhouse for St Paul’s Collegiate School.
In May, Puketapapa Local Board chair Julie Fairey said there was a difference of opinion between the board and council on the building’s future ( Central Leader, May 3).
‘‘The advice was we shouldn’t be advocating for its restoration and retention of the building,’’ Fairey said.
‘‘If you don’t retain it what are the other options? There’s an obvious conclusion there which is demolition.’’
However on September 22 Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee reallocated $300,000 towards the future of the whare.
Fairey says this is a commitment the local board needed to ensure the survival of the whare.
‘‘It could fill a much-needed gap in terms of a community facility in the area.’’
Originally this money was committed to the funding of a functions marquee that for a variety of reasons has never been able to progress, Fairey says.
‘‘We got to a point where all parties have agreed that’s not going to work as a solution.’’
While this is a big victory for the local board, it’s going to take more than $300,000 to restore the building, Fairey says.
But without this funding it would be difficult for council to approach partners for further finance when there was $300,000 already sitting there.
‘‘So we needed to get that sorted and committed and now we can look at what’s next in terms of getting that [further] funding secured.’’
Fairey says the Monte Cecilia site has been a controversial one so it’s good to have a positive development.
‘‘We can say now council has committed to what’s effectively the anchor funding for something positive to come out of what was really negative for a lot of people.’’
Puketapapa Local Board chair Julie Fairey says the reallocation is a positive outcome for the board.