Uncertain future for the community hub which could be sold for housing

A Christchurch community center has moved to a month-to-month lease as the Education Department decides the future of the old school site – which could be sold for housing.

The Phillipstown Community Hub opened on Nursery Rd six years ago and about 850 people attend classes, social groups, health and fitness programs, and support meetings each week.

The current lease expires on December 31, and Phillipstown Community Center Charitable Trust has been offered an ongoing contract, which means it is expected to leave with just three months’ notice.

The trust rents buildings and land from the ministry, paying the costs but not the rent.

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The site was once home to Phillipstown Elementary School, which closed after the earthquakes of 2011 and merged with Woolston School.

In May, Things reported that the hub’s future was uncertain, and trusted manager Viviana Zanetti said the past six months had been “tough” without the certainty of a long-term lease.

“They have the right to take this place back if they need it, but on the other hand, we’ve been here since 2015, working for the local community and more broadly Ōtautahi,” she said.

Phillipstown Community Center Charitable Trust Director Viviana Zanetti says the site is a vital resource.

STACY SQUIRES / Tricks

Phillipstown Community Center Charitable Trust Director Viviana Zanetti says the site is a vital resource.

“It’s not easy to get around three months’ notice.

“We try to plan like it’s our home and [that] we are not going to move from here, but of course he [the uncertainty] has an impact.

Phillipstown is a disadvantaged socio-economic area just east of central Christchurch, and 10 organizations – including the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Center and the Thriving Madly mental health support group – are based at the center. .

“In addition, we have three community lounges that are booked by approximately 60 to 65 organizations,” Zanetti said.

“For the local community, this is the only place they can access programs, activities and support.

“Moving to another location would be extremely difficult and would have an impact on the programs we run. “

The Department of Education is currently assessing the future of the former Phillipstown Primary School site.

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The Department of Education is currently assessing the future of the former Phillipstown Primary School site.

Zanetti hoped that a solution could be found with Christchurch City Council, either at the current location or at a new site.

“It’s time to have a really clear and meaningful conversation about the future,” she said.

Scott Evans, deputy secretary for Infrastructure and Digital at the Department of Education, said they are currently assessing long-term use of the site but have not ruled out selling the land.

Ten organizations and many community groups have made the Phillipstown Community Hub home.

STACY SQUIRES / Tricks

Ten organizations and many community groups have made the Phillipstown Community Hub home.

“We have agreements in place with the trust that operates the Philipstown Community Hub after their lease expires,” he said.

“These arrangements are short term while we assess whether the site is needed for future educational purposes.

“If it is decided that the site is not required for educational purposes, then it will be disposed of in accordance with the Public Works Act 1981. The ministry contracts out disposal management to Linz (Land Information New Zealand . “


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