A blessing ceremony led by Te Taumutu Rūnanga has prepared the way for work to begin on the new Rolleston Town Centre.
The ceremony blessed the ground for construction of Te Ara Ātea, the new library and community and performance facility which will be the first stage in the town centre development.
Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton says the projects are an exciting step for the town and the district. Te Ara Ātea—a name gifted by Te Taumutu Rūnanga which means “the unobstructed trail to the world and beyond”—was the perfect project to begin the town centre development.
“Te Ara Ātea will be the heart of the new town centre that will take us into the future, creating a hub that will meet our growing needs and brings communities together,” he says.
“It’s appropriate that we start with a place designed for all generations to gather, learn and discover. It’s been good to partner with Te Taumutu and it’s also fitting to start with a project connected with mana whenua that celebrates our history and also looks to the future.”
Designed by Warren and Mahoney, the building will sit on the edge of the new town square and be the heart of the town centre which will also feature recreational space along with with commercial, retail and hospitality developments.
The roading upgrades around the town centre will create a low-speed, people-friendly streetscape. Roads and laneways around Te Ara Ātea and the adjacent civic and commercial spaces will be landscaped, cycle and pedestrian-friendly, and provide for both on and off-street car parking.
"We participated in extensive consultation with the Selwyn Council, Te Taumutu and the Champions group to gain an understanding of what the community needed. The result is a space for the community that supports a cultural narrative reflecting the diverse community. The multi-modal functionality and design is a testament to this people-centric approach. We look forward to commencing on Te Ara Atea in the coming weeks with our newly selected contractor and partner on this project, Armitage Williams", says Principal Jonathan Coote.
Work on the site is expected to begin in November, and the building is expected to be completed in late 2020.