At a parish meeting in February 2021 about the future of the Parish we decided to use the facilities, especially the hall, as a vibrant centre to serve the community. After conversations with several community groups and the city council we agreed that this would be best achievable through partnering with the LOOP Youth Centre. Te Papanui Trust, the trust that is responsible for the property from which the youth centre operates, suggested to largely find funding for a refurbishment of the hall complex. It commissioned a concept draft at its cost. Currently, the cost for the proposed refurbishment is unknown. There was a concern that it could cost significantly more than Te Papanui Trust might raise and potential funders also wanted to see some investment from the owners (St Paul’s). That’s why it was expected that St Paul’s should contribute to the cost of the upgrade. If we did not partner with Te Papanui Trust to upgrade the hall, St Paul’s would have to spend a significant amount to remedy various issues, such as the failing flat roof and the outdated kitchen.
However, Vestry is concerned that project costs could blow out. At a meeting with Te Papanui Trust it was suggested that we look at the hall upgrade design and suggest what is needed, what is desirable if money allows, what can be deferred and what is not necessary. Vestry suggested that this would be best done at a meeting that involves interested parishioners as well. Vestry therefore invites any parishioners interested in the hall project to a meeting on 3 December 2023 after the 10am service.
We need to remember that some design principles have changed from when the hall was first built. We shouldn’t recreate what we may have known before. For example, a Vicar’s office today needs to be visible, rather than quiet and tucked away (especially for safeguarding reasons). I also hope that we can support a unified vision, rather than come to a design by committee where everyone’s suggestion is somehow included. We need to remember that this is not about the colours of the internal walls or the carpet, but more about the elements of the design. In this way we can work on a building that can be part of our mission and ministry and service to the community.