Progress Rolleston’s town centre
by Ann van Engelen
Selwyn District Council, contractors and the community are celebrating the advancement of the new Rolleston Town Centre as construction begins this week on the roading and infrastructure projects.
“We broke the ground last year on Te Ara Atea. It is exciting to see how far we have come after 10 years of planning to create a town centre for Rolleston, which includes a high street retail and entertainment experience for the community to enjoy in the future,” says property project manager Joanne Nikolaou.
“The Te Ara Atea library and community space will be the first building the community will see constructed. It will be an extraordinary facility and a contemporary multi-use place for the community, including families, to enjoy in the years to come. We have always talked about giving Rolleston a heart, and we have been very lucky to work with some tremendous partners and collaborators.
“Te Taumutu Runanga has been amazing, sharing narratives and history from the area and helping the project team develop something distinctive.
We don’t want another generic town centre development — we want Rolleston to have an iconic development that is authentic and has real meaning.”
Plans for Te Ara Atea include a museum experience incorporating the history of local rail, agriculture, military and multiculturalism.
“We will display important Selwyn icons in the museum area. The various groups I have been working with are incredibly enthusiastic about Rolleston and the Selwyn area. We appreciate their time and support in helping us establish a project with a focus on Selwyn’s identity. Te Ara Atea is just part one of the centre development that will occur during the next few years. We consider it the anchor, an iconic part of the project that will stand the test of time. We are also working on significant ways we can ensure inclusiveness for the wider community. We are working with the Barrier Free Trust focussing on accessibility issues for both the buildings and landscapes.
“We want the first building to set the tone for the development and in addition are upgrading Tennyson Street to have a high street retail experience. Tennyson Street will be slowed with significant landscaping, appropriate lighting features and wide pedestrian pathways so people can stroll around the centre in comfort. We want to change the urban area and encourage a positive experience for everyone.
“Armitage Williams is constructing Te Ara Atea and landscaping. While Isaac Construction is contracted to complete the Tennyson Street upgrades, which will include new storm water and other work needed to allow the increased number of buildings. The road works and infrastructure projects are due to be completed by the middle of the year. There will be new roads, parking extensions and mature trees added to enhance Rolleston. It is phase one, getting the library, roading, infrastructure and a portion of the town centre completed.
“The library is planned to be finalised by mid-2021, as it is a substantial build.
“We know the roadworks and construction may be inconvenient for people, and we appreciate their understanding while we’re doing this work to give Rolleston an iconic town centre, which will put the town on the map.”
From this week Tennyson Street will be closed to north-bound traffic from Markham Way to Moore Street. Tennyson Street between Markham Way and Rolleston Drive will remain open to two-way traffic in the meantime.