Why are community hubs being developed?
Historically Lower Hutt had many, single purpose, small assets which were not fit for purpose or well maintained. Community Hubs are a way we can provide a better range of services to the community from one central location.
We have seen, from our other Lower Hutt Community Hubs, that this model is highly successful at delivering a wider range of Council led services across the arts, literacy and recreation. It also gives the community access to and use of high quality facilities. At both the Walter Nash Centre and Koraunui Stokes Valley Hub, three to four times the number of different user groups, and double the number of individual visits have been counted compared to all their previous sites combined.
Why was the current Naenae Community Hall site chosen?
When looking at potential sites for the Naenae Hub we commissioned two separate investigations – one looking at urban planning and another looking at design.
Across these assessments we explored:
- Position and accessibility
- Benefit to surrounding area
- Distance from existing pools, libraries and activity centres
- How hard it would be to deliver
- How efficiently we could operate it
- Design opportunity/restrictions
- Strategic fit with the Long Term Integrated Community Facilities Plan
- The ability to add value.
Taking these criteria into consideration it was decided that the site of the current hall was the best fit.
Why will the Hub be a new build instead of renovating the existing Community Hall?
Across New Zealand halls such as this are not realising their full potential. Flexible, multi-use spaces with very few fixed features, in a range of sizes and surfaces are being much better utilised by communities. We can verify this with our own examples locally in Taita (Walter Nash Centre) and Stokes Valley (Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub).
If the current hall was kept it and renovated as it is it would place large restrictions on the design of the new space resulting in a design that does not work as well operationally or for the community.
Additionally, any renovation project has much higher levels of risk than a new build due to not knowing what you might find once you begin.
What is the outcome of the 2018 consultation and when will more happen?
In early 2018 our consultation on what you would like to see in the Naenae Community Hub was completed and approximately 1,000 (or 7% of the catchment population) people, responded to either the hard copy or web survey. View the results of the consultation. This gave us a solid basis for developing a design brief and clearly identified the key items that must be included in the new development to meet our community’s needs.
We are conscious that people want to be involved and that is great so the next opportunity for the public to formally feedback will be once the first design cut has been finished and released publically. We expect this to be in February or March 2019.
We recognise there are many methods of consultation used by Councils, for example some complete highly intensive workshops over several years, and so our Council Officers have met with several different Councils to discuss the key risks/issues of different approaches.
From our consultation we know that:
- The response rate for our early 2018 consultation was at a similar level to other consultation methods and we are confident that this is representative of the wider community that live In Naenae rather than the voice of a smaller group of highly engaged individuals
- We have been prudent with ratepayer money throughout this process
- We have ensured that the project momentum has been maintained throughout so limited construction cost escalation will be incurred
- We have a defined scope of the project which will not change and incur additional design cost, or requirements.
Our priority is to give the best possible end product for the community while ensuring that the needs of the majority of residents are being met.
What will the new Hub include and what will it look like?
The design of the Naenae Community Hub will take place in 2019 so before then we won’t have any images to directly reflect what the hub may look like. However, our other hubs in Taita (Walter Nash Centre) and Stokes Valley (Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub) are great examples of our recently built local facilities.
The new hub will include a range of key Council services including arts, recreation, literacy, Naenae Library, Naenae Clubhouse, YOUth Inspire and a range of spaces of various sizes. Once designs are available we will release these to the community so that everyone can keep up to date with progress.
The backbone for the design comes from the community consultation results received in early 2018 which gave great insight into the types of activities the community wants to see in the new facility. View the consultation results.
How can you get regular updates on progress of the Hub?
There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes and we have some key locations where information will be updated as soon as it is available. We encourage you to keep an eye on:
Who is designing and building the new facility?
Council is undertaking an 'Early Contractor Involvement Design and Build' process for this project. We’re hoping to establish a partnership with our contractor and designer and announce who they are by the end of January 2019.
By establishing a partnership approach this early on, we will get the best quality, cost and management over the design and construction process.