Logistical battle almost finished
The logistical battle of hosting events in one of the Selwyn district’s most used venues is near an end with Dunsandel’s new Community Centre set to open soon.
The new centre beside the Dunsandel Sports Centre (DSC) on Tramway Rd will host an official opening day and celebration from 4pm on August 4.
Dunsandel Community Committee (DCC) chair Russell Dalzell said businesses, ratepayers, ‘‘locals and ex-locals’’ had raised more than $350,000 towards the project.
‘‘The community have really exceeded themselves.’’
The new hall was a $3.8 million build, dominated by a large main hall area. It could be divided into a wooden floored dance area and a carpeted lounge area while the back of the hall would be accessible to trailers through a roller door.
Two meeting rooms to the side of the hall could be combined into each other or the main area. Opposite the meeting rooms was the bar and commercial kitchen.
Dalzell said the DCC hoped the hall would become self-sufficient, the income generated by hosting events covering the costs of maintaining and staffing the facility.
’’We’ve already got two weddings booked, at least two conferences, school productions and a rugby break up,’’ Dalzell said.
When the old hall was damaged in the September 2010 earthquake and eventually demolished, the community used the DSC as a replacement.
Hall committee member and Dunsandel Tavern owner Karen Stone had been responsible for managing the DSC for 10 years. She said it was hard to fit event and community bookings along with the multiple sport, business and agricultural groups who regularly used the facility.
‘‘It is crazy, and then you get a funeral in the mix. We will pick up more bookings now. I think we probably lost a few by not being able to fit them in.’’
She said the DCC wanted to use the two facilities alongside each other, allowing for more community evenings to be held in town.
‘‘I wanted to bring more of that to the sports centre, but you couldn’t because there were no free nights.’’
The committee was now looking to employ an events manager for the facility to work around 22 hours a week.
The new Dunsandel Community Centre is set to open on August 4.