‘Stunning’ concept design put forward

A concept image of the proposed new Clutha community hub, which would replace Balclutha's War Memorial Hall if approved by the Clutha District Council next month. IMAGE: CLUTHA COMMUNITY HUB CHARITABLE TRUST/CALDER STEWART

A charitable trust has revealed “stunning” concept designs for a new community hub in Balclutha.

The Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust yesterday released images and video of the proposed replacement for the town’s War Memorial Hall at the eastern end of Clyde St, alongside the Clutha River.

The material was presented to the Clutha District Council during its online annual plan hearings.

After the meeting, Mayor Bryan Cadogan described the design as “stunning”.

“My initial reaction was what a stunning, gorgeous building. A project of this magnitude was always going to be a potential cornerstone for growth in the district, and now council has a difficult decision to make, especially in light of the current situation.”

The replacement project would cost $15million, $7.5million of which would be ratepayer-funded.

A second option, focusing on refurbishment only, would cost up to $5million.

About 43% of submissions received favoured the cheaper option, including that of former project chairman Kevin Barron.

Mr Barron spoke to his submission, saying his choice was based on reducing costs, honouring the past, and engaging the community.

“Retention of the existing hall should be seen as an obligation to honour the past, a commitment to those whose voluntary labour and donated products went into building it, and a legacy for future generations.”

Mr Cadogan said the choice presented to the council now was “stark”.

“Do we put the handbrake on and contribute to stalling the economy, or do we move forward with a transformative project?

“It’s in the balance.”

Otago Daily Times