“The Future for Shirley Road Central”
By Joanne Byrne, on behalf of Shirley Road Central
Richmond Community News, May 2021, Page 5
“Following the Christchurch earthquakes the community centre at 10 Shirley Road was demolished. It was a popular and welcoming community asset situated on multiple bus routes, reaching out to the communities of Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans and Mairehau. A wide variety of people and groups attended this facility offering classes, courses and community events.
Our area also lost seven schools, including our two single sex high schools, further reducing the opportunities for night classes/adult learning spaces. The library at the Palms is outdated and too small, it lacks meeting spaces and is not central to all local schools and bus routes.
Our communities are ethnically and socially diverse. We have areas of social deprivation, and others of relative well being. We have increased social housing, and increased high density, infill housing. As our population grows, the demand for community facilities grows also. Church facilities can be a barrier for some of our secular community members. School facilities are often limited in the times they are available. Private venues are too expensive.
10 Shirley Rd provided an affordable, permanent home and storage facility that allowed a variety of community groups to prosper and thrive.
In 2021 the land remains empty. Our communities have waited over a decade for a replacement facility, while watching tens of millions of dollars spent on new community facilities in other areas of the city. The decision to not rebuild ours has disadvantaged our community and continues to do so.
Our vision is a new community hub at Shirley Road Central. We want a modern future-focused library, with learning/meeting spaces for all ages and stages of life. We want a centre that is inclusive and accessible for all. There are a number of former groups who met there and who would like to come home to Shirley Road Central.
We believe decisions about this space and its future use should be driven by our community. We want to have a legacy of community education and engagement. A new community hub will provide a positive heart and focus for all our residents and communities, still recovering from the effects of the earthquakes.
If you would like to support this concept please sign our petition: tinyurl.com/shirleycentre
You can also visit our website: www.shirleyroadcentral.nz
Or follow us on facebook at: facebook.com/shirleyroadcentral“