Hall project proposal
The future of the Puahue Hall is up for discussion now that a feasibility report on potential renovations has been completed.
Many Waipa¯ residents will already be familiar with the Puahue Hall.
Many will have attended community Welcome In’s and District Farewells, have competed in quiz nights, or attended assemblies or performances by friends or families of Puahue School.
Many may have contributed at farm discussion groups or celebrated at private functions hosted here, or possibly even prepared for road cycle races.
Indoor bowls, music lessons, table tennis — since 1930 this hall has been a reliable, convenient and treasured part of the local community and beyond.
In fact, the hall is so well used that it is often filled to capacity at school assemblies and seasonal performances — with some hopeful attendees being turned away due to lack of seating.
Audience members have been known on occasion to faint in the heat of the summer months at well attended functions.
Recently a small focus group, on behalf of the Puahue Hall Association, was formed and tasked with the project of investigating whether it would be feasible to improve the current facilities.
Jennie Macky, a member of the focus group, says it has become clear in the last few years that Puahue Hall’s fitness for purpose is becoming an issue.
“To ensure that our much loved, and well used hall is a functional, safe and appealing community hub now and for the future is something we needed to address,” says Jennie.
The group employed the services of Gisler Architects to take a deeper assessment of the hall and the objectives of improving its capacity and versatility, its insulation and ventilation, access for disabled facilities, and the safety of entry and exit for pedestrians.
Focus group member Sarah Storey says the feasibility study was comprehensive.
“It included plans and assessments based on fire protection reports, structural engineering and roofing reports, electrical and geotechnical reports, traffic and access assessments and stormwater discharge,” she says.
“It also looked at the costs and benefits of different options for improvements. We feel now that as a community we can make informed choices about how we proceed from here”.
The Puahue Hall Association is hosting a community discussion on Wednesday, June 20 at 7.30pm in the hall to discuss the findings of the feasibility study and to evaluate the level of community support for potential renovations.
Jennie says it has had an overwhelmingly positive response to initial concept plans to renovate the hall late last year.
“Ideas were floated and surveys were distributed and the clear reply confirmed that Puahue Hall upgrade should definitely be looked into. Now that we have a Feasibility Study, which gives us real numbers, and a deeper understanding of the project as a whole, we need community discussion, support and consensus at a community level to really move forward”.
GISLER Architects’ impression of a new development for Puahue hall.