Tomorrow is the official opening of the Te Pou o Mata-Au Clutha District Memorial & Community Centre.
The doors will be open for all to experience the new centre.
Whispers of a ‘‘restricted to 100 people grand opening’’ had residents concerned they would not be allowed to visit the hub tomorrow.
However, Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust chairman Dale Anderson said that was not the case.
‘‘We will be having an invite-only formal opening with local and central governments, Calder Stewart and people who were directly involved in creating the hub. Then after we will have public walk-throughs in the afternoon,’’ he said.
As well as the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the formal part of activities will include unveiling of a plaque, a waiata from South Otago High School pupils and a formal Maori blessing.
Mr Anderson said the hub would cost about $600,000 to run each year.
It would be completely accessible from September on, as the hub was opening in stages.
‘‘It’ll be good to get community groups and events happening once we’re up and running.’’
The public can walk through the centre from 3.30pm to 6pm tomorrow and a free barbecue is being put on by the Balclutha Scout Group.
The project first began with public consultation on options for the hall in 2016, at which time establishing a new ‘‘community hub’’ was identified by ratepayers as a priority for the district.
Concerns had been raised over the years by ratepayers, locals and business owners regarding the cost of the hub and the impacts it would have on the town.
The hub was originally to be equally funded by ratepayers and a $7.5 million Provincial Growth Fund ‘‘shovel-ready’’ grant, before a revised cost in March last year put the project at $22 million. That rose to $24m when direct council-related costs such as landscaping and car parking, and third-party funded memorial gardens were included.
Ratepayers were concerned the cost would continue to rise to close to $30m.
In October last year, the Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust said it was sticking to its $23m budget.
Trust committee members said the project had continued to remain at the target budget since then.