Community centre set to open

by Kent Caddick

The working party behind the building of Dunsandel’s new $3.8 million dollar community centre is praising the community for their part in making it happen.

The finishing touches are being put on the new 700m2 building ahead of it’s official opening on Friday, August 4. 

Chair of the Dunsandel Community Centre Working Party Russell Dalzell said the community had begun to look at what it was going to do with the old hall prior to the September 2010 earthquake.

“So we held a public meeting and from that, and a survey we did, there was overwhelming support for moving the hall to the domain.”

A working party was formed which included Mr Dalzell, district councillor Nigel Barnett, Ray Seebeck, Karen Stone and Leo Donkers. 

Plans were drawn up, costs were calculated and the working party got to work.

“We always had a fairly lofty goal in terms of what we could raise and I think in the end we did better than many would have imagined.”

The working party itself raised over $350,000 in cash donations as well as obtaining grants of $500,000 from the lotteries commission, $150,000 from the RATA foundation and $75,000 from the Ellesmere Reserves Board. 

“There was such a good community spirit here and a strong desire to see something new and modern built because in a small community like ours you’re stuffed without a town hall.” 

Mr Dalzell said their focus now is turning to managing the building and to ensure as much as possible it pays for itself in terms of the running costs.