What to do with 10 Shirley Road?

May 22, 2019 | Richmond Urban Plan, RR&BA

Richmond Amenities – by David Duffey

Richmond and Shirley residents lost a valuable community asset when the earthquakes all but destroyed the Community Centre at 10 Shirley Road. The old building which was the original site of Shirley Primary School was so badly damaged that demolition was the only option. As has been the case in many parts of Christchurch, the loss of the building was keenly felt by many people, and many thought then, and still do, that the replacement of the Community Centre should be a priority on the Council agenda.

However, times change and we have an opportunity to reassess our community needs and to decide what amenities will best serve our residents and where those amenities might be sited.

There is much debate about the need for a Community Centre as we knew it pre-earthquake. Some of the services provided at the old centre have been absorbed by other agencies and do not need replicating at a new amenity. There have been reviews and reports presented to Council discussing the amenities we have and those we need. Although these have not been released to the general public as yet, one would assume that these include social, recreation, pastoral care elements and take into account the composition of the population.

There is a groundswell of support for a (new) library to provide an amenity that would serve the Richmond/Shirley communities. Libraries have changed markedly in the last decade and now provide opportunities for interaction amongst age groups, ethnic groups, interest groups, etc through the way they are designed and staffed. While they still address their original core function of providing information and leisure reading opportunities, modern technological developments have had a major impact on how libraries achieve that core function.

Perhaps it is time for the Richmond Community to come together and discuss the needs and determine some action so that, eventually, we get an amenity at 10 Shirley Road which recognizes the past but focuses on our needs in the future.

What other projects are the RR&BA working on?

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