The Wellington City Council (WCC) has allocated $3.4 million to upgrade WCC owned, Newtown Community Centre run community facilities in Newtown. These facilities are the Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Network Newtown and Newtown Hall on Daniell Street. The Newtown Residents Association, the Newtown Community Centre and the Wellington City Council are working together to ensure the people of Newtown are at the centre of deciding what these community facilities may look like.
Over the last few years lot of work has been put into seeking out your opinions, ideas and dreams for a community facility upgrade for Newtown. Watch the video or read the report below to hear more about what we did to hear your voices, and what the Newtown community thought we should spend the money on!
This page will be kept up to date with the latest news on the project, so keep an eye on it.
We’ve got walls!
Work is progressing over at the building site that is also known as “The Newtown Community & Cultural Centre”! I recently donned a high vis vest and hard hat and checked out the progress. Many of the rooms are framed up, some even have whole complete walls (!) That really helped me to be able to understand the size and feel of the spaces – so much easier than looking at flat plans and trying to visualise in 3D!
It was a real hive of activity – several dozen builders and labourers all on missions – carrying through large sheets of GIB (no shortage over on Rintoul street) and there was a chorus of different sounds from various power tools!
We’ve got preserved history!
While I was over at the centre, I delivered our Time Capsule. We’d been collecting items for over a year – we did this by putting a public call out to local people, organisations and businesses. We also ran a few events – at them we shared what our visions for Newtown in the future would be, whilst also talking to our item that we had chosen to put into the time capsule.
The time capsule will be hidden in the roof of the community centre with instructions to open in 50 years! So many exciting items went in there, wanna know what? Well – you’ll have to wait until 2072 to find out…..maybe the images below will give you some clues?
We’ve got money!
You might have heard by now, last year we applied for a Lotteries Community Facilities grant. Wellington City Council is paying for the ‘bricks and mortar’ of the project- but not all the things that plug into the walls – with an amazing revamped theatre space we’ve been working hard to get the capital to pay for :
We put out a contract for tender and a few different companies came back to us with proposals. We chose Audio workshop( www.audioworkshop.co.nz ) as our preferred supplier and once we signed on the dotted line – they got to work sourcing us fantastic gear that will suit our needs. We’ve made it really clear to them that the theatre is a multi-use space – not only is to be used for performing artists, bands and theatre productions but for all hirers – including kids birthday parties, community meetings, dance classes, fair days, etc…. Audio Workshop really get us and they get what we’re up too! We are excited to share more details of the tech that will be provided in a future update.
We don’t have an official extension for when the building will be completed (so it’s currently at 25th November), and the crews are working really hard to get it done this side of Christmas, but we think it’s safe to say there might be another very minor delay – it’s such a big project!
We’ll update with more….as we have it!
If you’ve found your way to this page on our website– then you’re surely in the know – that our main community centre (corner of Colombo & Rintoul Streets) is currently being renovated! This was due to be finished in March... then September... and now we've heard that it SHOULD be done by this side of Christmas (November/December 2022)!
The Kaiwhakahaere / Coordinator's Eryn and Ellie went along in late February with Peter from the NCCC board and Brent (the project manager) to check in on how the demolition was going.
Ellie took these rough little videos of the Community Centre so you can see what it looks like - without all the walls! You won't recognise it! Enjoy!
Watts and Hughes (the construction company) have been busy at work, demo is underway! (Don't panic - remember, the building isn't being knocked down - it's just an internal renovation)! Check out the images below to see how different the centre is looking....
Above: The camera person is standing where the corner room was - on the first floor. To the right is where the seminar room was - and directly infront of where the camera person is standing is where a small office was. In the centre of the frame you can see the stairwell and beyond the foreground is the dancehall space (including mezzanine on the right)!
Above: This view is looking out over the mezzanine platforms that were over the dancehall (they are the framing you can see in the foreground). Below you can see the dancehall space.
Above: This is the view from the south end of the dance hall. At the top of the photo, you can see the roof trusses and the mezzanine platform. Straight ahead (up the top) of the image - is where there was the first floor rooms - a seminar room - the walls are now pulled down!
Above: This is the view of the dance hall. You can see where the hallway that led to the kitchen and youth attic (to the left).
This is a photo of the theatre space. The camera person is standing on the stage. The backwall has been knocked out - exposing the foyer and where the toilets' were. Up the top you can see the lighting box. There is a protective flooring covering our amazing native wood floors.
Building is about to start!
People in hard hats have been wandering around... emails are flying around with excited exclamations... new signs are being designed... a contract has been signed... WHAT COULD IT ALL MEAN?!
YES. IT'S TRUE! THE COMMUNITY CENTRE RENOVATIONS ARE ABOUT TO START! This has been a long time coming, but we're super excited that building is due to start on Tuesday 26th October 2021! We've been told that construction should be completed by August 2022 - but we're bearing in mind the issues that Covid-19 has brought for construction around the world and anticipating possible delays.
Wellington City Council have put out a story about the construction starting - check it out here.
The Community Centre remains operating out of our temporary home at 2a Green Street which is pretty rad - feel free to come and visit us and say kia ora, or check out pics of the awesome hireable spaces here.
A little catch up on where we’re at with our renovation project!
Do you struggle to understand plans and visualize what the renovations will look like? We do! Check out this awesome 3D walk through video to get an idea of what the renovated community centre will look like - when we move back in!
Our last day open to the public is April 11th (Newtown Festival day) and then we'll be taking a few weeks to sort alll the things out, re-opening at our temporary space on Monday May 3rd. You can find this space at 2a Green Street in Newtown. We are expecting to move back into the renovated centre in March of 2022.
Enjoy the video and get excited - the renovated centre is going to be bright, light, accessible and full of character!
Please note - the video doesn't show the toilets' nor the changing rooms to the theatre.
Ahhh! Time is flying! We’re getting all geared up to move out for our renovation project to begin. It’s happening! It’s finally happening! We’ve been saying it for ages (but fair enough if you didn’t believe us – there have been a few delays) April 11th is our last day open to the public. This is a Sunday and it’s also (the rescheduled) Newtown Festival, so our hirers won’t be in, but we’ll be running a “chill out space” for people to come and relax and get away from the hustle/bustle of the festival. Come say hi to us and bye (for now) to the centre.
We can announce that we have a new location to move into. We’re pretty excited about it – it’s above the old ANZ bank at 2a Green street. There is an elevator into the big, bright space. All our offices (NCCC, Youth programme, Wellington Timebank) will be moving here. It looks like we’ll have some small spaces to hire – think small meeting rooms, a community lounge and craft room. You can be sure cool things will be happening up there. We’re pretty excited to activate a different space and welcome you to come along and shape what it looks like and what happens there!
We’ll be open to the public at the new space from Monday May 3rd 2021. This means there will be a few weeks in-between where we’ll be busy moving things and sorting it all out! You will still be able to reach us on email/phone over this time.
Watch this space for:
We have the keys and the tools are all hanging on hooks…..there is even enough room to swing a crowbar (we wouldn’t recommend it though….) that’s right - The Newtown Tool Library has moved to a new location! Whoop!
Previously located at The Newtown Community & Cultural Centre (corner Rintoul/Colombo streets), it all started rather humbly as an idea from an awesome Newtown local (Nati). This grew into a collection of tools stashed in cupboards at the centre. As we grew, we upsized to a spare office space...and now, the Newtown Tool Library has its own purpose built space!
From Saturday 27th February you’ll find the Newtown Tool Library at the new location. Nestled between the playground and the Newtown Library, at 9 Constable Street, this purpose built space is light, bright and much bigger.
The space has been blessed by mana whenua iwi, Te Āti Awa and an opening party for major stakeholders/members/volunteers will be happening later in March.
We are so thrilled with the new space. A huge thanks to Wellington City Council and the Newtown Library for enabling this to happen (utilizing their old storage shed) - and of course the Newtown Tool Library collective who keep this amazing initiative humming!
More pictures coming soon - but why don't you stop on by and check it out in person? Opening hours:
For more information about the Tool Library (and to join) please visit: www.newtown-tool-library.com
Image description: From L-R Rosemary (NTL), Peter Jackson ( Te Āti Awa), Eryn (NCCC staff), Hedy (NTL), Freya (NTL), Ed (NTL), Tom (NCCC Board), Peter (NCCC Board) at the private blessing of the empty space (before we'd moved in!)
In late November, we (Eryn and Ellie, the NCCC Kaiwhakahaere / Coordinators, some Newtown community members who have been steering this whole project, plus the Community Services team from our funders at Council) headed down to the offices of our architect (Cushla and her team at WSP Opus) and put on some very futuristic looking virtual reality headsets.
We got to walk around the flash new community centre! Not just walking - we also jumped onto the roof, flew over the building, poked our heads through walls, dropped down an empty lift shaft - all sorts of shenanigans!
The headset made the person wearing it feel like they were walking around the new community centre. It also made everyone else in the room laugh a lot, as the wearer wandered unseeingly around the room, screeching at how beautiful everything was while tripping over wires and bumping into people. It was awesome to really get a feel for the space and how it’ll work for us.
We’re hoping to be able to get some footage of this, but for now – we have some 3D image renders.
The next steps of the upgrade project is putting in the building consent applications. After that’s all been approved, the job will go out to tender, meaning we’ll choose a building company to work with to make it all a reality! If all goes smoothly, we should be moving into an exciting temporary space in Newtown from April 11th 2021. Please enjoy the images on the slideshow below and let us know what you think! email@example.com
We’re back with another announcement – a new timeframe! We know, we know, there’s been a few of these! We’re confident that Wellington City Council and our architects WSP OPUS are committed to this new timeline.
We’re required to hand over the keys in May 2021 to the building team with that in mind, we have decided that we will be open to the public and available to hire until Sunday 11th April 2021. After this date we will no longer be able to hire venue space at our core facility – NCCC (Corner Rintoul/Colombo Streets). We will still have two venues available for hire to the public – Newtown Hall (on Daniell Street) and the classroom space at Network Newtown (Constable street).
Kaiwhakahaere /Coordinators Eryn and Ellie will still be employed to manage these venues and the various projects of the Newtown Community & Cultural Centre. We’ll also work on community development projects. We are currently looking for temporary venue space, at minimum an office space – but *fingers crossed* we can find an appropriate venue that has some community space as well. We are expected to be out of the Rintoul/Colombo Street building for one year.
We’re really excited that things are moving and that we’ll be receiving a fantastic updated and accessible community centre.
Check the latest draft plans out below. To hear about our epic closing party, sign up to our e-newsletter here : bit.ly/whats-on-newtown
You’ve probably already guessed as much, but we thought we’d make it official. Due to COVID19 the Community Centre upgrade has been put on hold until further notice.
We don’t know how long it will be on hold for and are waiting for Wellington City Council to let us know what the next steps are. This means the upgrade will not start in September as per our last update.
Assuming the COVID19 situation allows us to operate from September, we are now taking bookings for the period September-December 2020. All bookings for this period will be tentative until we have further information and may be required to be cancelled at short notice.
The Newtown Community Centre will remain closed at Level 3. We are not sure at what level we will reopen and what that will look like when we do (ie: new cap on attendee numbers). If you are a regular hirer with us or would like to place a booking to hire a space and are waiting to hear when we will be open again, please bear with us. We are waiting for more information from Wellington City Council about this and will let you know as soon as we know. We are happy to pencil in bookings for dates beyond May 13, but these will be subject to cancellation depending on the COVID19 situation.
We hope you are doing well in your bubbles! We encourage you to sign up for our newsletter and/or our Covid19 Facebook page if you are looking for support or entertainment in this lockdown period.
Posted: April 2020
We’ve just heard that the renovations to the Newtown Community Centre have been delayed until September 2020. We’re not raising our hopes too high in case there’s another hold up, but we know good things take time and this upgrade is going to be really, really good! We hope you, our community aren’t too put out by all this!
The reason for the delays lies in continued concerns regarding the risks of working with a 105 year old building and the potential for anomalies to be uncovered which might blow the budget. WCC and WSP Opus (architects) have had a number of tests and probes carried out to try to find things like asbestos and fire damage to reduce the chance of un-accounted for surprises surfacing once building begins. Other measures taken include the fact that the interior of the building will be fully gutted before beginning to re-build the interior. The designs have been altered to reduce their cost, allowing money to be allocated to identified and unidentified anomalies. Altering the designs to match the budget is a normal part of this kind of process and can happen till quite late in the game.
After all this design wrangling and number crunching, the good news is that the designs have now been given the green light to be submitted to WCC for resource consent! So despite the hold ups, we feel like movement is now happening again! Whoop!
All going to plan, the NCCC now aims to close for the big upgrade on 31st August 2020.
If you’d like to hire one of the Centre spaces between now and then, get in touch!
Here’s to getting a fantastic new Community Centre!
Posted March 2020.
The Wellington City Council has confirmed that the upgrade to the toilets on Constable Street and the attached storage space (which will become the new space for the Newtown Tool Library) will start on 21st January 2020 and will run for approximately two months. Woop!
This year the main mahi (work) on the project has involved architects WSP Opus taking on board all the feedback that community members have shared with us/them over the past two years and creating the Preliminary Designs (scroll down to see these below) and subsequently the more detailed Developed Designs.
Recently, the Developed Designs were submitted to a Quantity Surveyor who has assessed in detail how much it will cost to carry out the planned alterations. This cost estimate has come in at around $200,000 above the budget. The budget is strictly capped at $3.4m ($2.7m for construction), so WCC and WSP OPUS have been working together to cut $200K from the plans, keeping community priorities in mind. This has been a big ask as WSP Opus have done an incredible job of converting the community’s requests into design features for the new improved NCCC and it’s been tricky to remove anything! This wrangling has taken a bit of extra time and as a result the upgrade to the Newtown Community Centre has now been delayed until May 2020.
The good news is that NCCC will now open from 13th January until 30th April 2020 (and possibly longer if the build gets delayed further). If you’re keen to hire space from us in 2020, get in touch with Eryn or Ellie in the office – 389 4786 (or drop in and say hi!).
Posted October 2019.
The Newtown Tool Library is moving to a new space! The Wellington City Council is upgrading the public toilets on Constable Street next to the library. There will be more loos and they’ll have better accessibility too. The storage space attached to them will be repurposed for use by the Newtown Tool Library. The architects for the Our Town Newtown project - WSP Opus - have been working with the Wellington City Council to create a sweet new spot for the Tool Library that will have work benches, storage space, wash sinks, internet access, heating and more! We are excited to move the Tool Library to this more central spot, and we think it makes sense to have it next to the library for books too. All the libraries in one spot! Check out the Floor Plans and Concept Images below.
Posted September 2019.
While it may seem like the Our Town Newtown Community Facilities Upgrade project has gone quiet, a lot has been happening behind the scenes. Here’s a wee update:
Preliminary Designs are out for NCCC!
Have you ever noticed (or maybe used) the public toilets next to the library on Constable Street? Well coincidentally these toilets were due to get a spruce up by Council and because of their proximity Smart Newtown (and a variety of other reasons), they’ve been pulled into the project. Attached to the back of the toilets is a storage facility that the Council is going to re-purpose for use by the Newtown Tool Library! WSP Opus and Council architects have been working together designing up a storm so that we get more toilets, with better accessibility, and a re-purposed space, perfect for use by the Tool Library. We’re excited about the potential for the Tool Library to run workshops out the front as well! Great outcome!
We’ll be posting floor plans and artists impressions of the plans here soon. Keep your eyes peeled!
Posted July 2019
Preliminary Designs - Newtown Community Centre
Newtown Community Facilities are getting an upgrade! The ‘Our Town, Newtown’ team (made up of a Steering Committee and the WSP OPUS Architects) have had a bit of a holiday, but are now back at work, continuing the project to upgrade the community facilities (to the tune of $2.7mill)! We have done heaps of consultation which has informed the plans, to make the new facilities work for the whole Newtown Community.
Here’s a few examples of feedback that was received and how this influenced the plans:
Our architect team from WSP OPUS are hard at work adding more details to these plans, figuring out how much it is all going to cost, how long it might take and engaging with other professionals to find out vital information.
Current estimates put the timeline for building (at our main premise - Corner Rintoul and Colombo Streets) to begin at the start of 2020. This means we'll close down in December of this year and won't reopen until we have an awesome new space (in approximately 1 year). Building works for our other two venues; Network Newtown and Newtown Hall (on Daniell Street) are much more minor, and these could start in late 2019. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information. We invite you take a look at the most recent plans, and get excited about these future changes! Any questions or concerns, please contact Eryn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 04-3894786
We now have some further developed Concept Designs for you to check out! These designs have incorporated the feedback received from users and we have decided to focus on an option at the Newtown Community Centre where we feel the needs of the community will be best reflected.
This option will eat up the lion's share of the budget and in fact we will need to do some juggling and prioritising of features both within the NCCC & across the three sites. At the community workshop on Saturday 27th September we presented the further developed designs, but if you couldn't make the workshop, you can view the designs by downloading the pdfs below.
We are getting closer and closer to locking in our final concept designs, so if you have feedback for us, NOW IS THE TIME!! You can email email@example.com. Please do this by 5pm on Monday 12th November to allow the architects to incorporate your feedback.”
Community Design Workshop 3
Saturday 27th October, drop in from 1-3pm
Finger food provided
All welcome, family friendly
This workshop will present further developed concept designs for the three buildings, Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Network Newtown & Newtown Hall.
We've been blown away at the feedback so far and have further developed the Concept Design options in response. Come along and check out the options, add your thoughts and make sure the proposed design layouts will work for you!
The WSP Opus Concept Designs are out! They've taken your feedback from the last year and a half of consultation processes and put together some ideas we hope you'll like for upgrades to the Newtown Community Centre, Network Newtown & Newtown Hall. Please be aware that these concept designs are yet to be costed, so don't get your hopes up that we can get these fancy upgrades in all three sites. We had a workshop on Saturday 8th September to present the ideas, but if you didn't get a chance to make it, you can view the designs below or download them from this drop box folder.
Nothing is set in stone yet (but it will be soon), so if you'd like to let us know your thoughts, please send them in! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do this by 5pm on Monday 8th October to allow the architects to incorporate your feedback.
Newtown Community Centre - Existing Layout
Newtown Community Centre - Option 1
Newtown Community Centre - Option 2
Newtown Community Centre - Option 3
Newtown Hall - Existing Layout
Newtown Hall - Option 1
Newtown Hall - Option 2
Network Newtown - Existing Layout
Network Newtown - Option 1
Network Newtown - Option 2
Network Newtown - Option 3
Newtown Facilities Upgrade: Community Design Workshop 2
Saturday 8th September, 1-3pm
CONCEPT DESIGNS! COME AND CHECK THEM OUT!
Come and share your feedback on the initial concept designs for the three buildings (Newtown Community Centre, Network Newtown & Newtown Hall). In response to your feedback at Workshop 1 (and previous Our Town Newtown data), the architects have made some concept design models that you can interact with and help to develop. We'd love to hear your thoughts!
This is one of the last chances you'll have to let us know your thoughts on this upgrade process, so don't miss the opportunity!
Snacks provided. Family Friendly.
We had the first workshop of three with our newly appointed architects, WSP OPUS on Saturday 28th July - it went super well! Thanks to everyone who came along and gave us your awesome ideas on what we should spend the sweet sweet cash on.
If you weren't able to make it, we'd love to hear your ideas in this super quick SURVEY [This survey is no longer active - if you'd like to share your thoughts on the proposed design ideas, please email email@example.com].
What: Newtown Community Facility: Community Design Worskhop
When: Saturday 28th July, 12noon-3pm
Where: Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, corner Rintoul & Colombo Streets, Newtown.
From 12-12.30pm there will be a free curry lunch (yum!) accompanied by live music. From 12.30-3pm we’ll have some displays set up and we invite you to give us your awesome ideas specifically relating to the upgrades you’d like to see to the three buildings, Newtown Community Centre, Network Newtown & Newtown Hall on Daniell Street. You are welcome to drop in and fill in a couple of quick post it notes, or stick around for a cup of tea and a treat, chat to the architects and get a tour of the Community Centre. This is a family friendly event, there will be face painting and lego for the kids.
We’ll post any updates to the event on our Facebook event page.
If you can't make it to the workshop, we would still love to hear your thoughts in this quick SURVEY.
Just as a wee heads up, there will be 3 workshops (including the above one) over the next 4 months:
Cushla lives in South Wellington and has two young children who attend an early education centre in Newtown.
Her previous work includes : $13M Redevelopment of Heretaunga College in Upper Hutt; $4M Performing Arts Auditorium for Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt and the Master Planning for Wellington East Girls’ College currently under construction.
Cushla will be the Project Architect and main point of contact for the Newtown Community Facilities project. She will lead the design team and community consultation work and is very excited about playing a role in the upgrade of these important facilities for Newtown Community.
Bruce has 25 years’ experience as a Principal Architect is our National Technical Director - Architecture. He is based in Wellington and for many years was also the manager of our Wellington Architecture Studio.
He has significant project experience that is diverse and technically complex. His projects include significant redevelopment projects Wellington East Girls College, Heretaunga and Porirua Colleges, and the multi-award winning Carterton Events Centre.
Bruce is also passionate about innovation and sustainability and is always looking for opportunities to incorporate appropriate sustainability into the projects he is involved with.
Carinnya is an Architectural Graduate with a passion for the sustainable development of communities and has recently represented New Zealand at the Young Pacific Leaders Conference in Hawaii, and has presented at the COP21 UNESCO Conference in Paris.
Most recently Carinnya has been working on the Pasifika Malae project with Victoria University undertaking community and cultural group consultation as part of the masterplanning and concept design phase of the project to provide a culturally focused facility for the University and wider community. Her consultation experience includes, working with a community in the Naval Base suburb of Baguio, Philippines known for its slum housing and lack of adequate amenities. The group formed a social enterprise, and Carinnya the participatory design workshops to develop an upgrade of the local school. Carinnya is looking forward to bringing her skills in understanding community needs and working with people from different cultural backgrounds to the Newtown Project.
Phil is an experienced Principal Architect in our Wellington Architecture Studio with strengths in relationship management and leadership of project teams. His extensive experience includes Wellington community based projects whilst in his role as Principal Architect for Wellington City Council. His work on projects such as the improvements to the Aro Valley Centre, Creation of Churton Park Centre, Instigating the Rintoul Street Community House, and Thistle Hall. This experience means he has an in depth understanding of Council objectives and requirements in relation to redevelopment projects within the Wellington community.
To learn more about WSP Opus check out their website here!
This short video summarises the the project to date. Check it out!
This report summarises the findings of the community outreach that has been undertaken in Newtown to find out what people want in a Community facility upgrade.