Submitters hit out at hall hell
A separate group to speed up the refurbishment or rebuild process of the Cromwell Memorial Hall has been mooted.
At a Cromwell Community Board hearing on Friday, local architect Jessie Sutherland proposed a separate entity to ‘‘steer the development’’ rather than having the issue ‘‘at every six-weekly meeting’’.
The hall has had multiple delays due to differing opinions on whether to refurbish, to rebuild while keeping some of the existing structure, or to rebuild from scratch.
The latest delay was so Central Otago District Council staff could seek legal advice on whether the board had ’’mucked up’’ by rejecting a previous resolution to proceed with work.
Sutherland suggested a new group was needed to ensure a ‘‘favourable, timely’’ outcome.
‘‘Effort needs to be directed to a common goal, getting a memorial hall.’’
Sutherland questioned why it was assumed the foundations and floor of the present hall could be kept when other parts were ’’significantly lacking’’ in today’s building standards.
She also believed building on the original foundations would not go ahead once the ground beneath the present one had been assessed.
Earlier board member Robin Dicey outlined the potential instability of the ground due to historic gold mining.
That meant an upgrade would risk public safety so a complete rebuild was the only option, he said.
Dicey was responding to another submitter, Helen Hucklebridge.
She suggested that due to the introduction of new options, another public consultation was warranted.
Hucklebridge submitted that the $5.4 million upgrade should proceed rather than another costly consultation.
Hucklebridge finished by slamming the board’s handling of the issue.
If the board chose to go with a new build ‘‘you will have deprived the majority of the community of what they said they wanted and needed’’, Hucklebridge said.
‘‘It’s not too late for you to accept the reality of the consequences of the process.’’