Marines Hall to face de­mo­li­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Porirua Lit­tle The­atre has ad­mit­ted de­feat and the end is nigh for the Marines Hall in Ti­tahi Bay.

The the­atre com­pany had been in dis­cus­sion with Porirua City Coun­cil about a pos­si­ble $800,000 up­grade to the build­ing, but the coun­cil has pulled the plug - say­ing not enough money has been pub­licly raised, so the hall will be de­mol­ished.

The di­lap­i­dated hall, in White­house Rd, was closed in 2012 af­ter rou­tine main­te­nance brought to light se­vere struc­tural prob­lems. These in­cluded rot­ting walls, rusted steel, borer and leak­ing gut­ters.

Coun­cil gave the the­atre com­pany per­mis­sion in 2015 to raise money for the ma­jor ren­o­va­tion, and promised $250,000 via the Shared Re­spon­si­bil­ity Scheme.

Ini­tially, PLT had un­til Au­gust 1 that year to de­velop a plan and raise the money, but ex­ten­sions were granted.

PLT pres­i­dent Sandy Brewer said fundrais­ing and grants had brought their to­tal to $150,000 but a pos­i­tive end was not in sight and ‘‘re­al­ity has re­ally set in’’.

‘‘There does not seem enough [Lot­ter­ies and other grant] money to go around, so we’re ba­si­cally run- ning into a brick wall.’’

How­ever, its tem­po­rary PopUp The­atre home at 4 Lyd­ney Pl had been serv­ing its pur­pose, Brewer said.

‘‘The whole saga has been go­ing on so long that we’ve got the­atre mem­bers who don’t re­mem­ber the Marines Hall as our home, so that says some­thing.

‘‘Lyn­dey Pl is cen­tral in Porirua, has easy ac­cess and we’re happy to con­tinue there as long as it’s fea­si­ble.’’

Coun­cil chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Tam­sin Evans said an agree­ment was reached to ex­tend PLT’s lease at Lyd­ney Pl, while the the­atre com­pany seeks a per­ma­nent home.

‘‘The coun­cil had agreed to give [the Marines Hall] to PLT and funds from the Shared Re­spon­si­bil­ity Scheme only if they se­cured fund­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘To al­le­vi­ate any fur­ther costs to the ratepay­ers, the coun­cil will now re­in­state the process to de­mol­ish.’’

Evans said there was no tim­ing on when the hall would come down, as there was a re­source con­sent process to go through.

The hall was built in 1942 as a recre­ation hall for the US Marines based in Ti­tahi Bay and PLT had sole use of it since 1976.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.