Will Marines Hall get an up­grade?

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

The de­ci­sion on whether to up­grade the rot­ting and rust­ing Ti­tahi Bay Marines Hall will be made soon, Porirua Lit­tle The­atre says.

The di­lap­i­dated coun­cil venue, used pri­mar­ily by Porirua Lit­tle The­atre, was closed in 2012 af­ter rou­tine main­te­nance dis­cov­ered se­vere struc­tural prob­lems. This in­cluded rot­ting walls and rusted steel, borer and leak­ing gut­ters.

Coun­cil gave the the­atre com­pany per­mis­sion in 2015 to raise money for a ma­jor up­grade, thought to cost about $800,000. Ini­tially the com­pany had un­til Au­gust 1 that year to de­velop a plan and raise the money, but ex­ten­sions were granted.

By Oc­to­ber last year, it had raised just $35,500, well short of the to­tal it needed.

The coun­cil has promised $250,000 via the Shared Re­spon­si­bil­ity Scheme.

Porirua Lit­tle The­atre pres­i­dent Sandy Brewer said this week that she hoped to be able to make an an­nounce­ment on the up­grade’s fu­ture ’’in the next few weeks’’.

She said rais­ing the cap­i­tal needed had been dif­fi­cult.

‘‘It’s not been as suc­cess­ful as we would have wanted it to be, but I’m feel­ing good about things,’’ she said. ‘‘I will be able to say more soon.’’

There had been pos­i­tive talks with coun­cil of­fi­cers lately but there were still a few is­sues around ‘‘what, where and how’’ that needed to be con­firmed.

Porirua Lit­tle The­atre has been housed in the old Pete’s Em­po­rium build­ing in Lyd­ney Pl since the clo­sure of the Marines Hall.

There had been more than one ar­gu­ment - around the coun­cil ta­ble and on so­cial me­dia - about the hall’s past, present and fu­ture place in Ti­tahi Bay.

Some say it is a link to the US Marines’ pres­ence in the sub­urb - they built it in 1942 as a re­cre­ation hall - and needs to be pre­served on his­tor­i­cal grounds, while oth­ers say it is a relic and should be torn down.

In De­cem­ber 2014, coun­cil­lor Bron­wyn Kropp said the hall was built from ship­ping crates, was only meant to be used for one year by the Marines, held no strate­gic value to the coun­cil and had one ten­ant.

Kapi-Mana News re­vealed at the time that the main­te­nance saga had cost ratepay­ers $165,000 in roof wrap and fenc­ing, con­sul­tants, sur­vey­ing and en­gi­neers’ fees, pro­duc­ing a dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment and a re­search sur­vey.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.